Scholarships and Financial Aid

What if you could get paid to go to college?

You can! Here’s how.

Scholarships are the best form of financial aid. Unlike loans, which have to be repaid, scholarships are free money given you to help pay for your college expenses.

  • To get started, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.) This will be used to determine your family’s financial need. Even if you think your parents are “too rich,” filling out the FAFSA is strongly recommended. The FAFSA window opens 10/1/2019. https://fafsa.ed.gov
  • Apply for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, even if you plan to attend college out-of-state. Sometimes plans change, and you don’t want to leave your Bright Futures money on the table.  The Bright Futures window opens 10/1/2019. Apply here.
  • Apply early to colleges and check their websites for scholarships specific to those schools. 
  • Polk Education Foundation (PEF), our locally offered scholarships, are a great source of scholarships. The 3 week window will be announced, and typically opens in January. Apply here.
  • Make sure you are completing community service hours and posting here.
  • The Polk State College Foundation Scholarship window is open from February 1-March 15.  Apply here.

SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION TIPS

Read all the instructions for applying.

  • If you have to write an essay, be sure to read the prompt thoroughly. Stay on topic and stick to the target word count.
  • Read your essay aloud. If a sentence sounds weird to you, it will likely sound weird to the judges.
  • Don’t pontificate. (Don’t use big words for the sake of using big words.)
  • Show, don’t tell. Don’t just say you have excellent leadership skills; give examples of how you use those skills in a team of group environment.

Helpful Scholarship Apps for Mobile Phones:

https://www.goingmerry.com

https://www.fastweb.com/content/fastweb-college-scholarships-app


RaiseMe is a way for High School students to begin earning college scholarships as early as 9th grade:

Find more info here.


Directions for FAFSA and Bright Futures:

2020 FAFSA window opens 10/1/2019
FAFSA

2020 Bright Futures application opens 10/1/2019
Bright Futures


2020 Polk Education Foundation (PEF) online application will open after Winter Break. Exact date TBA.

PEF Application can be found here.

Helpful to the process:


College Board Opportunity Scholarship

https://opportunity.collegeboard.org/

FSU Care Program (For first generation college attendees)

https://care.fsu.edu/


Scholarship Sites:

Florida Scholarships

National Scholarships

Polk State College Foundation Scholarships are open February 1-March 15 of each year.
More information here


Name $ Amount Deadline Link to site
GenM Scholarship $5,000 (4 Awards) September 30, 2019  Link to site

 


Will McLean Foundation Scholarship

High school seniors may apply for this scholarship. Skills and interests must be musically or technically oriented and related to Florida Folk Music, Florida Folk History, and or production of Florida Folklore. Student must be a resident of Florida. Deadline is 02/01/2020

PDF application and information: https://www.scps.k12.fl.us/core/fileparse.php/1654/urlt/SCHOLARSHIPS-19-20-SENT-8-6-19.pdf

Amount: $3,000


RaiseMe is a way for High School students to begin earning college scholarships as early as 9th grade:

Find more info here.


Find a detailed list of all scholarship opportunities here:

LHS Scholarship Bulletin TBA


In searching for scholarships, be sure to check out the financial aid link on the website of the college or university you have selected to attend. There are often scholarships specific to your college or university.

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