Student Spotlight: Makala Cox

Meet Makala Cox, a senior in high school from Riverside, Iowa who uses Tallo to keep track of her many extracurricular activities and accomplishments in anticipation of starting college at Iowa State University. Makala first heard about Tallo through her school’s guidance counselor and was encouraged by her sister to sign up and start making connections. Makala also spends time on Tallo applying for various scholarships, and recently won a $1,000 Tallo Scholarship. Makala spoke with us about her process of finding scholarship opportunities, her time on a FIRST Robotics team, and what she likes best about Iowa.


Makala, like many high school students, spends a significant amount of time searching for and applying to scholarships in anticipation of attending college. When asked what advice she would give a student who is just starting the process of looking for scholarships, Makala shared some tips: 

Prior to creating her Tallo profile, Makala says she wasted a lot of time writing and rewriting her accomplishments and resume. Now, her Tallo profile lists all these things in one place, making it easy for her to reference back and fill out scholarship applications quickly. She also encourages students to apply for local scholarships, even if the payout is small. Those small scholarships can add up quickly, and oftentimes they’re a lot easier to win than larger, national ones! Makala has also cut down on the amount of time she spends applying for scholarships by looking up common scholarship prompts online and creating outlines in advance. She also suggests starting to look for scholarships early, speaking to your guidance counselor, and utilizing Tallo’s scholarship-finding feature. 


Makala was a member of her high school’s FIRST robotics team, and made it all the way to the world championships! She participated on the business side of things and was actively involved in writing donation requests, planning budgets, and assisting with fundraising for her team. She expects to use the skills learned on her FIRST next year to create a budget in college for any expenses that come from living off campus. While robotics could be stressful at times, Makala feels as though the experience has helped her learn how to deal with difficult situations, and has prepared her for future challenges she may experience; especially as she applies for jobs down the road! 

Iowa and Iowa State University: 

When asked about what she likes best about living in Iowa, Makala had lots to say. For Makala, the people who reside there are what makes Iowa so special. During her time working as a cashier for a local store, Makala had the opportunity to speak with diverse groups of people. From farmers to teachers, the Amish to doctors, the state is filled with, as Makala says, “wonderful, genuine people who give nothing but love and support.” 

When it came time to apply to college, Iowa State University stood out as a place she could see herself making her home for the next four years. After visiting campus, Makala instantly felt comforted by the welcoming community and the ability to enter with their Undecided Major program. Although Makala is technically “undecided,” she hopes that her path in college will take her to a major in Architecture, something she is passionate about. 

After college, Makala hopes to travel and see the world, and maybe even live somewhere like California or London! However, she expects to eventually settle back down in Iowa, as it is the place that she will forever call home. 

Makala credits Tallo with keeping her organized during the stressful time of applying for colleges and scholarships. We can’t wait to see what Makala will accomplish during her time at Iowa State University! 


Start charting your path today.

Connect with real educational and career-related opportunities.

Get Started