Elliott Aw

College:  Arizona State University

Major:  Mechanical Engineering

RISE Start:  2022

Graduation Year:  2026

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My name is Elliott Aw and I am currently a first year student at Arizona State University (ASU). However, my journey towards ASU was a long one, dealing with everything from the college process to finances and everything in between. I come from a missionary family that has lived in a low income situation for as long as I can remember. Nonetheless, my parents were immensely supportive in trying to set me up for academic and career success through homeschooling and encouraging attendance at the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT).

After my grandmother passed away we relocated and I was able to attend EVIT as a diesel automotive student. As my senior year approached and I started my second year at EVIT, the cost of college started to really reveal itself. Fortunately, my instructor informed me of a college prep program at EVIT called RISE Scholars. I didn’t think much of it at the time since I was aware of a few of their tips and tricks for college preparedness. However, as the program became more in-depth, I was able to find out how to practically support my college attendance. 

For example, the representative guided me through the unnecessarily complicated FAFSA website to apply and determine how much financial aid I would receive. Through them, I realized I would receive the maximum Pell Grant and that meant college was a much more attainable goal. Qualifying for the maximum Pell Grant and my grades helped me win a large scholarship for college.

“Thank you for sharing such an amazing gift, the Dianna L. Sharps Scholarship. The scholarship helped me through a hard time. Purchasing college supplies, gas, and other necessities made college so much more affordable.”

Elliot Aw