Two ways: check the Available By School section. Once you have read the Before You Apply information and clicked on APPLY NOW, you will start answering questions and based on those questions, the computer program will let you know all of the scholarships you are eligible for. Answering the initial questions does not mean you have applied for a scholarship. It means you have provided the information necessary to let you know which scholarships you are eligible for. You now need to click on the scholarships listed to find out what additional requirements there are. For instance, if a scholarship is based on sports – there may be an essay required where you describe how sports has impacted your life. Be sure to check each scholarship you are eligible for and be sure to complete the requirements for each.
Our on-line system opens December 2, 2019.
Choose someone who knows you well. If a scholarship is based on community service, ask someone who works with a non-profit you served. If it is based on academics, ask a teacher who know your character, your dedication, your academic achievements.
Remember, lots of students are asking for letters of recommendation at the same time. Ask early. Make sure you tell the person you are asking what the deadline is. Ask if they can submit it before the deadline and check back to make sure they submitted it.
Applications submitted after a deadline are always disqualified. Most essays have a minimum word count – you have to answer with at least a certain number of words – if you don’t, your application is disqualified. Not having the required number of letters of recommendation can result in disqualification.
Scholarships are created by community members who want to support your education. They are not necessarily rich people – they are people who want to show you support. Anyone can establish or donate to a scholarship fund.
The application tells you not to put your name in anywhere other than where it asks for your name. Scholarship reviews are done with what we call a ‘blind application’. That means that all steps have been taken to ensure your application was reviewed without bias. No one knows whose application they are reading. If your name is throughout the application and we miss it, a reviewer could see it and it could give you an unfair advantage…or disadvantage.
Scholarship checks are provided to your educational institution. The Allegan County Community Foundation will never send a scholarship check to a student.
The SAR is the Student Aid Report provided to you after you file the FAFSA paperwork. It lets you know what your EFC (expected family contribution) is.
To be eligible for a portion of the billions of dollars the federal government provides annually to qualified undergraduate, graduate and professional students, you must complete a FAFSA. The application asks for financial information about you and your parents if you are a dependent. That information is used to calculate your financial need, based on the cost of attending your school and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Even if you think you or your parents make too much money to qualify for financial aid, you should still complete the FAFSA. Many scholarship applications and schools that award private scholarships or merit-based aid, require the FAFSA to be on file.
FAFSA = Free Application for Federal Student Aid
EFC = Expected Family Contribution
SAR = Student Aid Report (it is generated from your FAFSA application)
Blind Application: when reviewing applications, committee members receive applications with no names. Their discussion and recommendations are unbiased when they don’t know who they are discussing.
Renewable: when a scholarship award is for more than one year it is renewable
Non-Renewable: a one-time award
Fifth Year: students who are enrolled in Early College go an extra year and earn their Associate’s Degree at the completion of their “5th year” of high school