College Financial Aid & Scholarships
The cost of higher education at both public and private institutions continues to escalate. Many of the more expensive schools can become affordable if there is sufficient financial need-based assistance available.
Regarding cost, a college education should be viewed as a major life-time investment; one that will appreciate over time and add to a higher quality of life.
Financial need is determined by subtracting what the parent and student can afford, EFC (Expected Family Contribution), from the total cost of attendance.
Financial assistance can include loans, grants, scholarships, and work opportunities. There are three basic financial aid application forms to be aware of: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is used by all colleges; the College Scholarship Service PROFILE which is used primarily by private institutions, and an institutional form that an individual college may have created itself. Be prepared to complete any combination of these forms if you are applying for need-based financial aid. You are required to complete these forms online.
- http://www.fafsa.ed.gov – Almost every college will require the submission of this free form to consider you for financial aid. You are encouraged to complete and submit this online.
- http://profileonline.collegeboard.com/pvf/index.jsp – Some colleges will require the Profile in addition to the FAFSA. There is a fee to complete this form, and it is used to gather more detailed information about your finances.
- http://collegeboard.com – This is a very comprehensive site with lots of answers to your questions. It contains several financial aid calculators, loan information, and much, much, more.
- http://www.finaid.org – This site provides good general information on financial aid. It has a financial need estimator which will predict your estimated family contribution based on the information you provide. There is also an “Ask the Expert” section where you can send questions online and get a response.
- http://www.salliemae.com – This site lists both private and public educational loans and has a tutorial on Financial Aid 101 which includes eligibility, the application process, and how to go about securing a loan. It also has calculators to compare different loan products.
- http://studentaid.ed.gov – This is the financial aid site for the US Department of Education. The Student Financial Assistance Programs are the largest source of student aid in America. This site has a great deal of information including tax cuts for education and how to find out about direct loans from schools.
Regardless of your financial situation, there may be one or more scholarships available to you. Scholarships are given by individual colleges, organizations, companies, and community groups, and they have many different criteria, ranging from an outstanding academic record, to demonstrating a special talent (art, music, athletics, etc.), to an unusual degree of community involvement. You may be eligible because you have a parent working for a specific company or the award may be for ethnic background or religious belief. If you are serious about finding monies for college, you should be willing to spend some time on your search.
Here are some resources to help you along the way:
- View the Scholarship Link in Naviance
- http://www.collegeboard.com – This site includes a scholarship search database known as the Fund Finder from 3,300 national, state, public, and private sources. How to spot a scam is also mentioned.
- http://www.fastweb.com – With this database, the student registers and is assigned a mail box on the site where information on new scholarship opportunities is posted. The database contains over 500,000 private sector scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans. Probably one of the best search sites available.
- http://www.fastaid.com – The world’s largest and oldest private sector scholarship database. You will find scholarships here that you won’t find anyplace else.
- http://www.collegeanswer.com/index.jsp – The most comprehensive “Going-to-College” resource on the Internet. Use it for all of your planning and paying for college needs.
- http://www.finaid.org – This site will run a scholarship search for the specific interests of art, biology, computer science, engineering, journalism, and nursing.
- http://www.scholarships.com – This site offers a database of 3,000 sources and detailed search results.
The Kittie Moss Fairey Scholarship is for South Carolina students who show significant financial need. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, a combined SAT score of 1100 or ACT score of 26, be planning to attend an accredited four-year college or university in South Carolina, and have a household adjusted gross income not exceeding $40,000.
The deadline to apply is 5:00PM on January 15, 2018. Click here to apply.
The South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation offers scholarships to South Carolina students with a competitive or recreational interest in golf. Applicants must have a 2.75 GPA and be planning to attend an accredited four-year college or university in South Carolina.
Click here to apply. Applications are due January 15, 2018 at 5:00PM ET.
The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) awards range from one-time $2,500 awards to multi-year $20,000 awards. APIASF provides scholarships to underserved AAPI students with a special focus on those who:
Live at or below the poverty level, or are otherwise of low socioeconomic status;
Are the first in their families to attend college; Are representative of the AAPI community’s diversity, geographically and ethnically, especially those ethnicities that have been underrepresented on college campuses due to limited access and opportunity; and
Have placed strong emphasis on community service and leadership as well as solid academic achievement.
More information can be found here. Applications are due January 18, 2018 at 5:00PM ET.
The Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund offers four scholarships to South Carolina Students. These scholarships, ranging from $2,000 to $20,00 are for students interested in the areas of natural resources, law enforcement, criminal justice, forensics, print or photo journalism, advertising, public relations or mass communications. Applications must be postmarked by January 31, 2018.
For more information or to apply, click here.
Essay Examples’ Young Writers Scholarship is designed to help up-and-coming writers cover the cost of education. The scholarship amount is $5,000 and the deadline is February 5, 2018. For more information and the application, please click here.
The Watson–Brown Foundation awards scholarship between $3,000 and $5,000 to students from eighteen counties in Georgia and South Carolina. Students can apply online at www.watson–brown.org/
Parentinn presents the Cyberbullying Prevention for Teens Scholarship. All participants will have to research and submit a 600 – 1000 words regarding the following topic: “Why and How to Stop Cyberbullying”. In the content, make sure to include the following ideas: Why is it important to stop cyberbullying, and how has cyberbullying personally affected teens? The best submission will be selected and rewarded with $1250. For more information, click here. Applications are due by February 28, 2018.
Students can win up to $2,000 for college by writing an essay discussing whether public school calendars should accommodate religious holidays in the 2018 Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest. To enter, students must write an 800-1,200 word essay responding to the following prompt: In most public high schools, certain days are marked as religious holidays on the school calendar, and the schools are closed on those days. As public schools become more diverse, some students’ religious holy day(s) are not days that the schools are closed, resulting in absences for those students.
The grand prize is a $2,000 scholarship and a trip for two to Washington, D.C. Prizes of $1,000 for the second place winner and $500 for the third place winner are also available.
Entries must be mailed and postmarked by March 9, 2018. For more information, click here.
The George Rogers Foundation of the Carolinas Scholarship is now accepting applications through March 16, 2018 for the 2018-2019 school year. Graduating high school seniors with a 3.0 GPA and who will be the “first in family” to attend a 2 or 4 year institution are encouraged to apply. Please see the College Counseling Office for a copy of the application.
Founded in 1975, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) empowers Latino families with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete higher education, while providing scholarships and support services to as many exceptional Hispanic American students as possible.
As the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization supporting Hispanic American higher education, HSF has awarded more than $550 million in scholarships and provides a range of impactful programs for students, HSF scholars, alumni, and parents.
The application opens January 1, 2018, and closes March 31, 2018. Scholarship recipients will be selected in June 2018. For more information, click here.
The SC Council of Catholic Women’s Scholarship was created to encourage and promote spirituality, leadership, and serivce among Catholic females graduating from high schools within South Carolina. This merit-based scholarship grants one $1,500 award to its recipient. Eligible students must be female South Carolina residents. Student must be a Catholic in good standing, and a letter of recommendation from an ecclesiastical body (e.g., priest, brother, deacon, or nun) is required. The application includes an essay not more than two typed pages on the topic, “What part will spirituality, leadership, and service play in my life in the future?” For more information, click here. Applications are due April 13, 2018.