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.
Applications for the CERRA Teaching Fellows Program are now open. Teaching Fellows participate in advanced enrichment programs at Teaching Fellows Institutions (throughout South Carolina), have additional professional development opportunities, and are involved with communities and businesses throughout the state. They receive up to $24,000 in fellowship funds (up to $6000 a year for four years) while they complete a degree leading to teacher licensure. A Fellow agrees to teach in a South Carolina public school one year for every year he or she receives the Fellowship. The application must be completed and in the Teaching Fellows office by 5:00PM on December 1, 2017.
For more information or to apply, click here.
The 2017- 2018 Silver Pen Writing Competition is open and accepting applications at www.silverpen-slc.com/apply. The Silver Pen Writing Competition is an essay contest with a goal of bridging the communication gap between seniors and members at the Cascades Verdae retirement community.
All seniors are welcome to apply
There is no GPA requirement
Essays should be 600 to 1000 words
Four cash prizes: $1,500, $1,000, $750, and $500
Applications are due by 11:59 pm on December 9, 2017
Essays must answer this question: If a teacher gave you the opportunity to vote on a new subject to be taught for the rest of the school year, what would be your choice for the subject? Support your choice and persuade your classmates to vote for it.
SeniorAdvisor.com: Future of Assisted Living Scholarship offers three $2,000 scholarships available to students enrolled in an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or graduate level program at an accredited 2-year college or 4-year university. Each eligible student must submit a 500-750 word essay response to the question: How can your major of study improve the lives of seniors in assisted living facilities in your town? Deadline is December 31, 2017.
Essay topic and scholarship details can be found on the SeniorAdvisor.com Assisted Living page. This is an annual scholarship and will be offered every year.
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards are non-renewable scholarships created to recognize young people who have demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and initiative. The scholarships are valued between $2,000 and $25,000. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur program was established to raise awareness among the nation’s youth of the critical role that private enterprise and entrepreneurship play in the building of America. Applicants MUST be running their own small business in order to be considered for an award. Apply online here. Applications are due by January 2, 2018.
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.
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/
The Lyceum Scholars Program at Clemson University is a $10,000 scholarship for incoming freshmen to study the moral, political, and economic foundations of a free society.
Lyceum Scholars read the Great Books of Western Civilization and discuss timeless questions such as: What makes a society free? What makes a society prosperous? What are the principles of the American Founding?
This program is an eight-course sequence that students take together as an intellectual cohort over their undergraduate career. Not only do the classes Lyceum Scholars take enhance their understanding of their intended major, Lyceum classes also count toward the Honors College and fulfill the requirements for a minor in Political Science.
For more information, visit their website.
- Naviance Scholarship Link
- 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.