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Scholarships are Keeping Student Leaders in the Gem State

Chey Sheen smiles while wearing a Boise State outfit.

Four years ago Chey Sheen never would have guessed she would be Student Body President, representing and advocating for the interests of over 22,000 students across campus. In fact, Chey never even had plans to go to Boise State at all. As a high schooler, southeast Idaho-native Chey yearned to travel the world and expand her roots beyond the state border. After much consideration, she chose to stay in her home state for college. Now a senior, Chey is reflecting on her life-changing experience at Boise State and offers invaluable insights for Idaho high schoolers teetering on the edge of college decisions.

Making the college decision was difficult for Chey. Her mom was a non-traditional age college students who attended college while she was in high school. Determined to pull herself up by her bootstraps, Chey explored out-of-state college options, googling top civil engineering colleges. She even met with her high school counselor to explore what financial aid and scholarship opportunities were available to her.

“My counselor didn’t even know what FAFSA was,” says Chey. Even after trying to consult others for help, she was still very confused. “All I knew was that, like, I had to fill it out,” she says. “And honestly, I still didn’t fully grasp what it all actually meant until like midway through my college career.”

Her search for scholarships and financial aid revealed a goldmine. “I didn’t realize how accessible those scholarships were,” Chey admits. The Scholarship Portal became her ally, turning mere applications into pathways to financial freedom.

In addition to the automatic merit based scholarships offered through Boise State, one state scholarship that changed her mind about her prospects in her home state was the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship. The Idaho Community Foundation also offers local scholarships that are tailored for small high schools and counties like hers, which made all the difference.

ASBSU poses with Santa Claus

After considering all this, she quickly realized that Boise State was a pragmatic choice.

Chey encourages Idaho high schoolers to share their stories, emphasizing that a well-crafted essay can be instrumental in securing your future. She wants Idahoans to remember that their unique qualities are assets worth highlighting.

When the time came around to it, stepping onto campus her freshman year exceeded her expectations. “I wanted to not like it..but the second week, I fell in love with the people and campus,” Chey reminisces. The initial overwhelm of classes and assignments became manageable with the strategic use of Google Calendar. This newfound tool was a lifesaver, demonstrating that adaptability is key to navigating college life.

Chey’s skepticism about Boise State’s offerings dissolved as the university not only addressed her concerns but went above and beyond to help her succeed. The faculty and staff engaged her passions, connecting her with groundbreaking research opportunities. The message is clear: in college, seek assistance fearlessly—supportive communities exist to nurture and guide.

“Here at Boise State, people listen to you, challenge you, but most of all, are here to support you, “ says Chey.

Chey and other ASBSU leaders pose in the Boise State helmet cart.

Navigating hardships with grace, Chey recalls relying on the campus food pantry during challenging times. Sacrifices were made, but she persevered with the knowledge that she wasn’t alone. Boise State’s resources were her lifeline, proving that seeking help is a strength, not a weakness.

Chey’s Bronco journey illuminates the power of advocacy and self-expression in securing scholarships. “You have to be seen, but you also have to show yourself and advocate for yourself,” she urges. Her college journey inspired her to serve her fellow peers as the President of the Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU), the student advocacy organization.

Now ready to graduate with a Civil Engineering degree, Chey is equipped with a skillset that can take her anywhere in the world she wants to go. So what’s next for Chey? She’s got her sights set on exciting career prospects in Hawaii, where recent wildfires have left devastation in their wake. There she’ll contribute to the rebuilding efforts for the island’s longtime residents. Chey’s Bronco journey epitomizes Blue Turf Thinking – a philosophy that embraces challenges, fosters innovation, and cultivates grit.


Ready to become a Bronco? Aspiring college-goers can take simple steps to embark on their Boise State adventure:

Adventure awaits you at Boise State – apply today!

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