Cash for College
by Jon Hanover, Editorial Editor
For seniors, college is looming in the very near future. As such, many lofty goals for the future are coupled with fears of seemingly unavoidable lofty bills. But donít despair, aspiring scholars! Even if money is tight, there are a number of viable opportunities for West Geaugaís senior class to receive financial aid.
West Geauga is overwhelmingly fortunate to have LEAF (Lake Education Assistance Foundation) representative Ms. Nancy McKeon here to aid our seniors. She will help students find what scholarships and financial aid opportunities are available to them and give them guidance in choosing which ones to apply for. Ms. McKeon is in the Guidance Department every Tuesday and is available by appointment.
Here is a quick summary of financial aid opportunities for graduating seniors. First, there is FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). FAFSA was instituted by the federal government to unify the financial aid process and make sure a student from Chesterland is eligible for the same amount of aid as a student from Pasadena. Out-of-state schools and private schools are not under the same FAFSA requirements as in-state public schools, but, in any case, if you are short on cash FAFSA is worth a look.
Another possibility is the CSS Profile, a program run by the College Board. Unlike FAFSA, a student has to pay for the application, and the application process is much more rigorous than FAFSA. Furthermore, CSS usually provides less money than FAFSA, but it is required for most selective schools. For both FAFSA and the CSS Profile, check with the Guidance Department for more information and applications.
Over and above financial aid, there are many scholarship opportunities for graduating seniors. Most require an essay and proof of high academic achievement. Deadlines are approaching, so browse the scholarships listed below and ask your guidance counselor or LEAF representative for a more complete list.
Lemonade Series Writing Scholarship - April 1 Deadline Students need to write a 500-word essay/story. Awards: $500
National Alliance For Scholastic Achievement - March 4 Deadline HS Senior with 2.75 GPA, SAT, ACT, complete application and essay, and supply a letter of letter of recommendation. Awards: $2,000 - $15,000
NFIB - Free Enterprise Scholars Award - March 31 Deadline For seniors who demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit/initiative. Students must complete application and write an essay. Applicants must be nominated by a dues-paying member of NFIB. Awards: 100/$1,000
OCUL [Credit Union] Chapter Scholarship - February 15 Deadline Senior must complete application and essay [need not belong to credit union] Awards: 3/$1,000; 2/$750
Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools - February 21 Deadline For students attending Ohio colleges. Awards: up to $15,000
Ohio Assn. of Collegiate Registrars and Adm. Officers- Feb. 20 Deadline Must have 2.75 GPA, write 300 word essay, and have recommendation of leadership/service activities. Awards: 5/$500
William D. Squires Educational Foundation - April 5 Deadline Financial need-based [must have EFC on FAFSA under $10,000]. Applicants must have a minimum GPA 3.2, a clear career goal, and a complete application. Awards: $3,000 renewable