Carolyn’s College Corner: Scholarship & Financial Aid
A Few Tidbits Going Forward…
New college search engine based on costs
It may be a bit late for you to fully benefit from this new college search engine, but it might help you compare the colleges that you’re already applying to. CollegeRealityCheck.com is sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the interactive search tool takes into consideration factors such as “net price based on actual family income, projected monthly student loan payments, and potential earnings after graduation.” Their byline is: “Compare colleges by facts, not fluff.” Worth a look!
For those of you who will be filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to apply for need-based financial aid, paper versions of the FAFSA are no longer being mailed to high schools. You are strongly encouraged to complete and submit the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If, however, you would like a paper copy of the application, you may request one by calling toll-free the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). You can also access a PDF version of the form that you can complete online, print out and mail, or print out, complete by hand, and mail. Read all about FAFSA filing options at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/options.htm.
If you’d like a quick way to determine if you’re likely to qualify for need-based aid, access the Fafsa4caster via a link on the FAFSA home page: www.fafsa.ed.gov. Also, you can access a pdf version of the publication Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid, that includes basic information about student eligibility, the application process, and aid programs at http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/pubs. Also, here’s a good website for understandable explanations of financial aid applications: http://www.finaid.org/fafsa/.
Keep in mind that you can’t file the FAFSA before January 1 (when the current tax year is over), but most colleges need your FAFSA results in February, so aim to file no later than February 15
College Opportunity Fund for all students planning to attend college in Colorado
CollegeInColorado.org provides a link to the application for the College Opportunity Fund stipend that provides a tuition cost break for in-state students attending Colorado colleges and universities.
Send your scores
Remember that most colleges require that you have your standardized test scores sent directly from the testing agency. To send your scores, go online to http://sat.collegeboard.org/scores/send-sat-scores (SAT) and/or www.actstudent.org/scores/send (ACT) and have a credit card handy. (College Board allows students who have taken the SAT with a fee waiver four no-charge score reports sent to colleges, in addition to the up to four reports that you may have requested sent straight to colleges when you registered for the test.) Also, keep in mind that in most cases, you may choose to send either your SAT or ACT scores. A small number of colleges, though, require SAT Subject Test scores in addition to ACT scores. Do your homework and know what your colleges require.
Gap Year Fair
Sunday, January 19, 2014, 1:00-3:30pm
Denver Academy, 4400 E. Iliff Avenue
If you’re even contemplating the benefits of a gap year — stepping off the education conveyor belt for a year to do something stimulating, eye-opening, energizing, and worthwhile, this will be well worth your time, so check it out!
Many reputable organizations that offer gap year programs will be available to offer information and answer questions.
Find out about the organizations involved at www.usagapyearfairs.org/programs
SAT/ACT test dates for early 2014
SAT – January 25th and March 8
ACT – February 8th and April 12th
(While I would like to take credit for all the below information, I must give credit where credit is due. Thank you Kent Denver for the following information. I think there are some great possibilities here and within our own community)
SMART Scholarship (Science, Technology, and Research for Transformation)
- Sponsored by the Department of Defense Defense (DoD) to “support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.”
- $25,000 to $38,000 per year depending on one’s major. (For a list of majors, go to: http://smart.asee.org/about)
- Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0, be able to participate in a summer internship, and be willing to work for the DoD after college graduation.
- Application materials are at http://smart.asee.org
- Deadline: December 16, 2013
- $20,000 scholarships awarded to 300 high school seniors every year!
- An initiative of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which “recognizes students who have overcome significant obstacles to pursue their educations. In turn, these scholars serve as positive role models and change the trajectories for their siblings, friends and their communities.”
- Minimum GPA: 2.4
- Applicants must demonstrate financial need, self-motivation, and “determination to succeed.”
- “The Dell Scholars Program is more than a check. Rather, the program aims to provide students with everything they need to begin and complete college.” In addition to scholarship money, “the Dell Scholars Program provides its students with technology, a private scholar networking community, resources, and mentoring to ensure they have the support they need to achieve their college degrees. Scholars become part of a support network for each other that is made up of themselves, their schools, families, peers and a dedicated Dell Scholar team at the Michael & Susan Dell foundation.”
- The online application is easy to complete. Applicants selected as semi-finalists will be requires to submit additional materials. Find more information and a link to the application at www.dellscholars.org.
- Deadline: January 15, 2014
SAE Engineering Scholarships
- Applicants must enroll in an ABET-accredited engineering or related program, meet minimum requirements pertaining to GPA or ACT/SAT scores, and complete an essay about their engineering goals, plans, and experiences. (ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.)
- Scholarships range from $400 to full tuition
- Learn more specifics and access an application at http://students.sae.org/awdscholar/scholarships (In the “Type of Scholarship” box, click on the “Freshman Year of College” link)
- Deadline: January 15, 2014
PFLAG Denver Scholarship Program
- Sponsored by the Denver chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
- One $2,500 and two $1,000 scholarships “for LGBTQ high school seniors and their straight allies to recognize those students who are beacons in their communities, to encourage them to pursue post-secondary education and to promote a positive image of LGBTQ youth”
- Applicants need a 2.5 GPA or better.
- For the application, along with FAQs, go to www.pflagdenver.org
- Deadline: February 28, 2014