APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
Even though most applications will not be filled out until senior year, it is important to begin thinking about scholarships long before then. Some scholarship awards are available through academic contests, FFA and other organizations, science fairs, essay and poster contests, summer academies, and other programs which are open to students in grades 9-12.
The choices you make and the activities you choose will have great impact on your scholarship opportunities. Colleges are interested in more than just grades and test scores. They look for students who are involved in school clubs and activities, and who make a contribution to their school and community in some way. If you plan to go to college, seek out organizations to join and consider running for office. While building a better résumé or application, you may find others with interests similar to yours, and probably have more fun while you are finishing high school.
Come by my office for a list of current scholarships.
In addition to scholarships, there are some very important sources of funding that every student should check into:
- PELL GRANTS. Every student should fill out a FAFSA. (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) packet after January 1 of his/her senior year. This is the form that qualifies you for grants, work-study, and student loan programs. If your family qualifies for free or reduced lunches, the chances are very good that you will also qualify for grants (college funding that does not have to be repaid). The maximum amounts vary from year to year. See Mrs. Parker or go to www.fafsa.ed.gov to find out more. Even if you don’t believe your family will qualify, you should complete the application. Many colleges and some other funding programs (including OHLAP and some Tribal Programs) require a copy of your SAR (Student Aid Report) once your application is processed. Those who do not qualify for grants may still qualify for student loans which can be repaid after graduation.
In order to get federal student or parent loans for college, a FAFSA must be completed.
NOTE: DON'T PAY to apply for Federal Financial Aid. IT IS FREE! Some searches may take you to a website that charges you to submit the form!
- OTAG (Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant) is included in the FAFSA application. For this state-sponsored program it is important to send forms in (apply online) early. There is a limited amount of money available and it is awarded on a first-come basis.
- ACADEMIC COMPETITIVENESS GRANTS provides up to $750 for 1st year and $1300 for 2nd year Pell-Eligible undergraduate students who have completed a rigorous high school program. (Oklahoma ACE Graduation or OHLAP Requirements met) Application is part of the FAFSA. Students must be full-time (12 hours/semester) and maintain a 3.0 GPA to qualify for 2nd year grants. see http://studentaid.ed.gov
- SMART GRANTS (National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant) provides up to $4000 for 3rd & 4th year full-time students who are citizens and who major in physical, life, or computer sciences; mathematics, technology, or engineering, or in a foreign language considered critical to national security. Must be Pell-eligible and have maintained a 3.0 GPA in major courses. Application is part of the FAFSA renewal for continuing college students.
- VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES. Students with disabilities of any kind should check into Voc-Rehab for possible college funding and assistance. If you have vision, hearing, or speech disabilities; orthopedic problems including serious injuries, surgeries or birth defects; asthma; diabetes; or other medical problems or learning disabilities, you may qualify for assistance.
- Oklahoma’s Promise - OHLAP (Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program) is a scholarship program administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. You must sign up by the end of 10th grade and meet certain GPA, course, and family income requirements to qualify. You must also avoid alcohol and drugs, attendance problems, and behavior problems during high school. This scholarship will pay tuition at Oklahoma state-sponsored colleges/universities for up to 5 years, and a portion of tuition at Oklahoma private colleges. See Mrs. Bryant or go to www.okhighered.org/ohlap.
- Varsity Tutors Scholarship Contest Description - Varsity Tutors holds a monthly $1,000 college scholarship contest where students must write an essay in response to a monthly prompt. Visitors to the Varsity Tutors scholarship webpage are able to vote via social media for submitted entries. The top five entries with the most votes are reviewed by Varsity Tutors at the end of the month and one winner is subsequently chosen to receive the $1,000 college scholarship. Interested students can enter the contest here: http://www.varsitytutors.com/college-scholarship
NCAA Clearinghouse Regulations for Athletic Scholarships
If you hope to play college athletics, it takes more than just talent in your chosen sport. Athletes must meet course, GPA, and ACT/SAT requirements in order to be eligible to play. These requirements are regulated by the NCAA. You and your coaches should be aware of and follow these requirements to make sure that you can follow your dreams.
- MUST BE A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE
- Course requirements: 4 English, 3 Math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 Science (1 lab), 1 additional English, math, natural or physical science, 2 Social Science, 4 extra core courses from the list above or foreign language, nondoctrinal religion or philosophy
- Minimum GPA in the core courses *Sliding Scale posted at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net
- Combined ACT score (4 subscores added together) to match your core GPA on the sliding scale. SAT may also be used.
- *You may use ONE core course completed in the year after graduation.
- MUST BE A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE
- Course requirements: 3 English, 2 math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 Science (1 lab), 2 extra core courses from English, math or natural or physical science, 2 years of Social Science, 3 years of extra core courses (from any category above, or foreign language, nondoctrinal religion or philosophy)
- Minimum GPA: 2.00 in core courses
- ACT Sum Score 68 (4 subscores added together) or SAT 820 (no sliding scale in Division 2)
- Division 3 does not use the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse. Contact the college about specific eligibility requirements.
You must register in order to be recruited by Division 1 or 2 programs. The process includes filing, an application fee, and a high school transcript sent by school officials. More information can be found at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net.