SFA College Advising Update & August 2020 Scholarship Opportunities for Class of 2021

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The Scholarship Fund office is OPEN ALL SUMMER! Please call 571-409-6186 (Google Voice number) or email college@acps.k12.va.us throughout the summer if you’d like help with college, career, or financial aid planning!

RISING SENIORS-Class of 2021:

Not sure where to start with the college process? 

  • Here is what the class of 2021 should be focusing on this summer:
    • Register for an SAT and/or ACT. Study for SAT & ACT. Qualify for free or reduced lunch? Need a test waiver? Please contact Ms. Harrington or Ms. Morris.
    • Research majors and careers
    • Finalize list of schools (reach, match & safety) AND add in Common App AND add NON-Common App schools to the list of colleges “I’m thinking about” in Naviance.
    • Request letters of recommendation from two CORE teachers in Naviance ONLY. Do not request letters of recommendation in Common App.
    • Begin brainstorming and drafting personal statements and essays
  • Check out TCW Canvas School Counseling Resource page.
    • Senior College Planning Checklist, TCW Top 20 & SAT/ACT Registration & Dates, and a recording of the Early Action/Early Decision webinar are available

Covid Questions on Application: why they were added and if and how you should respond.

Is applying early right for you? Please contact me if you would like to discuss whether you might be a good candidate to apply Early Action/Early Decision or to apply for the QuestBridge or Gates scholarship.

  • Recording of the Friday, 7/24, Early Action/Early Decision Zoom Webinar by the College and Career Center and Scholarship Fund is posted on the Canvas School Counseling Resource page.
  • Early Action (EA): Accepted students are not required to attend EA college
  • Early Decision (ED): Accepted students are required to attend ED college and withdraw all other college applications. Because ED is binding, it is important that students with financial need apply ONLY to colleges that guarantee to meet 100% of the student’s financial need (please see this list of colleges that guarantee to meet 100% of financial need). Only families that can afford to pay the full cost of college out of pocket should apply ED to colleges that are not included on the above list.
  • QuestBridge College Match ProgramStudents with high financial need (household income of $65,000 per year or less) who have a 3.75+ GPA and are enrolled in AP/DE courses should consider applying to QuestBridge, a 4-year, full-ride scholarship to highly selective partner colleges. Applications are typically due the end of September of senior year.
  • Gates Scholarship: Students with high financial need (Pell-eligible) who have a 3.3+ GPA and are enrolled in AP/DE courses should consider applying to Gates, a highly selective, 4-year, full-ride scholarship for minority high school seniors. Applications are open and are due September 15, 2020 of senior year. 47 days until the deadline

Seniors and Juniors: Class of 2021 & 2022:

Virtual College Fairs: This fall, NACAC will offer four virtual college fairs for students and families on Sept. 13, Oct. 12, Oct. 18, and Nov. 8. The NACAC Virtual College Fairs offer students an unprecedented opportunity to explore their options and get started on their college dreams. More than 600 colleges and universities will be online to talk with high school juniors and seniors on each of these fair dates: Sept. 13, Oct. 12, Oct. 18, and Nov. 8. Students may attend as often as they like. Parents invited, too! Register at virtualcollegefairs.org.

Freshmen and Sophomore: Class of 2023 and 2024:

9th and 10th grade essential parts of the college application process. College might still feel a long way off, but 9th grade marks the start of the college application process. The most important piece of the college application process is your high school transcript. Your transcript is a summary of all the courses you’ve taken and the grades you’ve received in those courses from freshman through senior year. What can you be doing in 9th and 10th grade to ensure you’re on the right path to achieving your goals?

TCW Alumni (this includes Class of 2020)

Financial Aid Appeals-If you family’s financial situation has changed due to Covid please contact Ms. Harrington to discuss if you can appeal your financial aid award. (Remember, your 2020-21 FAFSA used your family’s 2018 income tax return. If your family’s income now is significantly lower than in 2018, please contact Ms. Harrington to discuss options).

Pandemic Highlights Value of Higher Ed, Planning for College CostsForbes, July 22,2020.

Fifty-six percent of college students say they can’t afford tuition, according to OneClass, which surveyed more than 10,000 freshmen, sophomores and juniors from over 200 U.S. colleges and universities. Roughly half of undergraduates said that because of the pandemic’s impact on their finances, they will need to rethink how they will pay for school.

Below is a list of upcoming scholarships. Local scholarships are written in pink.

August 2020

  1. Marvel Optics Scholarship – August 15, 2020 – $1,500 short essay or video contest; open to current college students
  2. Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship – August 1, 2020 – $1,000 nursing student scholarship open to 2019 high school graduates and current college students with 3.0+ GPA
  3. Patsy Takemoto Mink Scholarship – August 1, 2020 – $5,000 financial need based scholarship for a female college student with one or more children
  4. USRA Scholarship – August 7, 2020-  $5,000 scholarship for rising college juniors or seniors studying science, engineering, or science education
  5. iVein Health and Wellness Scholarship – August 31, 2020 – $2,500 essay contest on maintaining a healthy lifestyle during college; open to current college students with 3.7+ GPA
  6. Scholarships4Moms – August 15, 2020 – $10,000 scholarship drawing for moms who are current college students
  7. Buenas Opiniones – August 31, 2020 – $2,500 renewable scholarship on struggles of being a Latino student; open to 2020 high school graduates and current college students with 3.0+ GPA
  8. USNI Marine Corps Essay Contest – August 31, 2020 – Between $1,500- $5,000 Essay prize for essay detailing how the U.S.M.C will tackle diverse challenges of the 21st century.
  9. CVS Pharmacy, Inc: Pharmacy Scholarship, closes August 27- up to $5,000. CVS Caremark has partnered with UNCF to create scholarships for students in an AACP-accredited PharmD program. Selected students will receive a scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year. C
  10. Black Females Moving Forward (BFF) in Computing– closes August 31, up to $5,000. In partnership with the Reboot Representation Tech Coalition, the BFF in Computing program will build community and provide academic support for African American women freshmen and sophomores majoring in computing degree programs. Selected participants may be considered for continued academic/professional development support after the program, and an opportunity to compete for a $5,000 scholarship.
  11. Intel Scholarship-closes August 31. The program offers STEM students direct financial support, the benefits of exposure to potential job opportunities, networking with fellow scholars, insight to other Intel scholarships, research, training opportunities, and access to Intel mentors, for full-time college juniors, seniors or graduates (MS and/or Ph.D)  attending any four-year accredited college or university in the fall of 2020.
  12. Dr. Pepper’s Tuition Giveaway-OPENS August 2020. Check back for details. Over $1,000,000 awarded last year.
  13. PEO Star Scholarship – Submission open August 15 – October 15, 2020 –  $2,500 scholarship open to female rising high school seniors with 3.0+ GPA who exhibit leadership and community service. Must be nominated by local P.E.O. chapter to apply -please email Ms. Harrington at college@acps.k12.va.us  if you are interested in being nominated!

September 2020

  1. Golden Door Scholars  -Typically opens in the Summer and closes in later September. Sign up to get more info once 20-21 scholarship open. –  four year scholarship for students who attend partner schools who have DACA, TPS or certify that they meet immigration eligibility criteria.
  1. Love Your Career Scholarship – September 10, 2020 –  $1,000 scholarship open to current college students. Applicant must submit an essay describing at least three steps that they plan to take in the next year to start a path towards having a career that they love
  2. Cameron Impact Scholarship – September 11, 2020 – 4-year, full-ride, merit-based scholarship open to high school seniors with 3.7+ GPA and community service experience
  3. Gates Scholarship – September 15, 2020 – 4-year, full-ride scholarship for Pell-eligible, minority high school seniors with 3.3+ GPA
  4. Questbridge – September 29, 2020 – 4-year, full-ride scholarship connecting high-achieving low-income high school seniors with Questbridge partner colleges; some partner colleges are open to undocumented students
  5. Bonsai Finance Veteran’s Scholarship – September 30, 2020 – $2,500 scholarship open to high school seniors and current college students who are veterans or active duty member of the U.S. Military service, or  direct dependents (i.e., son, daughter, spouse)
  6. SR Education Group Community College Scholarship – September 30, 2020 – $5,000 essay scholarship
  7. SR Education Group Military Scholarship – September 30, 2020- $5,000 essay scholarship open to veterans/active military, and their sons, daughters, or spouses
  8. SR Education Group Undergraduate Scholarship – September 30, 2020- $5,000 essay scholarship
  9. Nursing Scholarship – September 30, 2020 – $2,500 scholarship open to current college students studying nursing at an AACN Member Institution
  10. OppU Achievers Scholarship – September 30, 2020 – $2,500 essay scholarship open to current high school and college students with 3.0+ GPA
  11. Cosmetology Scholarship – September 1, 2020 – $2,500 scholarship open to students planning to enroll in a cosmetology program during the next 12 months
  12. Voy Media Entrepreneur Scholarship – September 30, 2020 – $2,500 essay scholarship on entrepreneurship for current college students
  13. Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs Scholarship – September 30, 2020 – $2,500 scholarship open to current college students pursuing a degree related to manufacturing
  14. Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award – September 15, 2020 – $10,000 scholarship for exceptional musician with financial need; open to students ages 8-18 who have not yet entered college (HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS DEADLINE: December 4, 2020*) 


  1. National Young Arts Foundation – October 16, 2020 – Open to students ages 15-18 who excel in cinematic arts, dance, theater, music, writing, or visual arts. Cash awards up to $10,000 and master classes with world-renowned artists
  2. Olin Teague Aerospace Scholarship – October 12, 2020 – $4,000 scholarship open to high school seniors pursuing a career in aerospace fields
  3. American Muscle Student Scholarship – October 15, 2020 – $2,000 scholarship open to high school seniors and current college students pursuing an automotive themed major
  4. Coca-Cola Scholarship – Application opens August 1, 2020. October 2020 deadline TBD – $20,000 scholarship open to current high school seniors with 3.0+ GPA (unweighted) and a demonstrated capacity to lead and serve
  5. Zombie Scholarship – October 31, 2020 – $2,000 essay scholarship open to students 14 years of age or older; 250 word essay on surviving a zombie apocalypse
  6. AACN Polly Bednash Nursing Scholarship – October 31, 2020 – $5,000 scholarship open to students with a 3.2+ GPA who are currently enrolled in a BA nursing program at an AACN member institution
  7. Voice of Democracy Scholarship – October 31, 2020 – $30,000 essay contest on “Is This The Country TheFounders Envisioned ” open to students in grades 9-12
  8. Horatio Alger Scholarship – October 25, 2020 – $10,000 scholarship open to high school seniors with a G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher who have overcome adversity and have participated in community service and who display integrity and perseverance; family income must be under $55,000
  9. Risk Management Association (RMA) Foundation Scholarship Program is awarding more than $200,000 in renewable scholarships, ranging from $2,000 to $8,000 each, to current undergraduates interested in pursuing a career in the banking industry after graduation. The application typically opens in early September and the deadline to apply is typically mid October. Flyer with more details.
  10. NSLI-Y – Typically end of October-2021-2022 info not released yet – Merit-based scholarship for high school students and recent high school graduates to participate in summer or academic year language immersion programs in countries where the 8 NSLI-Y languages are spoken (Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish). Scholarship details. Graduating seniors who will complete high school between December 2020 and June 2021 are eligible to apply for the 2021-22 NSLI-Y program, provided they meet the age eligibility guidelines.
  11. Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards-2020 application not released yet/deadline is typically Oct.- For Hispanic students graduating from high school in 2020. Education grants awarded to help fund higher education or a community based project. Recipients are selected for accomplishments in the classroom, community and excellence in various education categories.
  12. Scholarship America Dream Award – Typically an October deadline, 20-21 application info not posted yet – $5,000-15,000 renewable scholarships open to current college freshmen with 3.0+ GPA, open to DACA students

Other places to search for scholarships:


Monthly Drawing & Sweepstakes



Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

  • Scholarships and financial aid
  • Finding a good college fit
  • Writing college and scholarship essays
  • SAT/ACT preparation
  • Building a résumé
  • Financial aid options for undocumented students
  • Completing the Scholarship Fund Application