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Margaret Feldman sends out a scholarship email each month to keep families in the loop about upcoming local and national scholarship opportunities in addition to the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria. Many of the scholarships in each month’s email have been won by T.C. students in previous years. Please click here to sign up for Ms. Feldman’s scholarship newsletter.
SFA April/May 2020 Scholarship E-Newsletter
Dear ACPS Students, Families, and Alumni,
So much has transpired in the last five weeks. While the TC Campus is closed, the Scholarship Fund is still here to serve and support you. Mr. Waters, firstname.lastname@example.org and I (Ms. Harrington), email@example.com , are available through email, open Zoom office hours (please check Canvas for the zoom links for our open office hours) or we can schedule one-on-one Zoom meetings.
You can also follow us on Twitter @TC2College and Instagram at tc2College.
Due to the pandemic college testing, admissions, and financial aid info is ever changing. Mr. Waters and I will do our best to keep you abreast of the changes and help you understand how these changes may impact your unique situation. If Mr. Waters and I don’t have an answer to your question, we will reach out to our colleagues and professional sources to find an answer.
While how and where we meet with you has changed….we are still ready and able to support your college dreams!
12th GRADE FAMILIES:
College Admissions Updates and Changes. Here are a few reputable sites for finding info and updates related to the pandemic.
- NACAC’s College Admission Status Update is a central resource of information about changes in college admission as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The chart in the below link includes information provided to NACAC by colleges and universities worldwide. You’ll find information on each institution’s plans and policies for admission events; for consideration of high school transcripts and standardized test scores; for decision and deposit dates; for summer and fall semester plans; and more. This resource was first released on March 17. It was updated on April 20 with additional questions and responses from institutions. This tool is updated within one business day as new responses are received. To use this resource: https://www.nacacnet.org/news–publications/newsroom/college-admission-status-coronavirus/
- State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) COVID 19 updates for all colleges (2 & 4 year/ Public & Private) in VA: https://www.schev.edu/index/covid/students-and-parents
National Decision Day May 1 or LATER & Enrollment Deposit: The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) reports that “52 percent of colleges have extended their usual May 1 deadline for students to accept an offer of admission for Fall 2020. https://www.nacacnet.org/news–publications/coronavirus/nacac-insights/ Please contact me or Mr. Waters if you have questions about the decision and/or deposit date for your college!
- NCAC Deposit Fee Waiver: https://www.nacacfairs.org/globalassets/college-fair–homepage/ncf-documents/learn/nacac-req-for-enroll-form-0420_1-fillable.pdf NACAC offers an enrollment deposit waiver for students experiencing significant financial hardship. Similar to NACAC’s current application fee waiver, the enrollment deposit waiver is used by students to request a fee waiver or deferral. https://www.nacacfairs.org/learn/fee-waiver/enrollment-deposit-fee-waiver/
- TCW Alternative, Virtual Decision Day 2020: TC Williams College & Career Center, TCW Counselors and SFA College Advisors are working together to find an alternative way to celebrate Decision Day. Stay tuned!
- Check out and follow the newly created tctitans_seniors Instagram account to celebrate and see what students from the class of 2020 are doing after TCW!
- Some Fun way to celebrate your college decision: https://www.fastweb.com/student-news/articles/five-ways-to-celebrate-your-college-acceptance-letter
Financial Aid Verification & Financial Aid Awards: CHECK YOUR COLLEGE EMAIL ADDRESS AND YOUR COLLEGE STUDENT PORTAL! Please contact me for assistance in submitting financial aid verification paperwork so that you can find out how much each college will cost for you prior to Decision Day. Once you have received financial aid awards, please let me or Mr. Waters know if you need help interpreting the different grants and loans offered. Here is a simple video about what happens after you submit the FAFSA: https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/after-the-fafsa.wmv
It is NOT too late to submit the FAFSA – FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Every senior who is even considering pursuing education after high school should submit the FAFSA as soon as possible. Funds are awarded first come, first served by many colleges. Most students receiving free/reduced lunch will qualify for $6,195 per year on the spot. Even if you don’t get free/reduced lunch you may still receive thousands in state and college aid. FAFSA doesn’t look at your grades, doesn’t require essays, and doesn’t obligate you to take out loans. FAFSA money can be used at 4-year colleges, NOVA, and most career/technical schools. There’s no reason not to fill it out!! Mr. Waters and I can help you over email or a zoom meeting.
- Types of Federal Financial Aid: https://studentaid.gov/resources
- Federal Student Aid at a Glance: https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/aid-glance-2020-21.pdf
- Who is eligible for Federal Student Aid: https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/eligibility.png
- Do you have to provide a parent or guardians info on the FAFSA-are you a dependent or independent student: https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/fafsa-dependency.pdf
- If your parent does not have a social security number, it is okay. Only the student must qualify or be eligible to complete the FAFSA. You can enter all zero’s-0 for a parent in the social security box if your parent does not have a social security number.
- Who is “my parent” when I fill out the FAFSA: https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/fafsa-parent.pdf
- Creating an FSA ID…the first step in the FAFSA…this is your electronic signature: https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/creating-using-fsaid.pdf If your parent is not eligible to create an FSA ID, it is okay. They can choose to sign the FAFSA signature page instead.
- How to fill out the FAFSA video: https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/how-to-fill-out-fafsa.wmv
Just now decided you want to pursue college? It’s not too late to submit the FAFSA, apply to NOVA, and make college a reality! I’d be happy to help – even after graduation!
SFA Scholarship notifications will be released by the end of April – Stay tuned for more details.
FREE online classes at NOVA this summer for TCW class of 2020 and 2021! Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is using institutional dollars from the Federal stimulus to launch a new summer schedule of tuition-free online classes for approximately 70,000 qualified Northern Virginia high school students. This is an opportunity for rising seniors through graduating seniors to JumpStart their summers and earn college credit by attending up to two online courses that will run from June 1 to July 15.
11th GRADE FAMILIES:
Junior College Planning Night- did not happen as planned due to the pandemic and closure of TCW. However, the College and Career Center (Ms. Morris), SFA Advisors (Mr. Waters and Ms. Harrington) and your Counselors are still available to help and support you with the college planning and application process. Stay tuned for the newly updated Junior College Planning Night PowerPoint and Handouts which will be distributed soon. As we learn more about the admission process for the class of 2021, it is becoming clear that letters of recommendation, personal essays and co-curriuclar/extra-curricular activities will play a big role in the admission process.
Changes to AP, SAT and ACT: information is evolving
- SAT & AP Updates (College Board): Updates on SAT testing dates and AP exam info and AP supports for students
- ACT Updates: reschedule your April ACT, access free ACT practice tests and read other updates…scroll down to the “Student & Parent Resources”
- In previous years we recommended that juniors should take the ACT and SAT to compare results and determine whether the SAT or ACT is a better fit for their test-taking-style. Students could then study and prepare for one test and then retake the test of their choice over the summer or in early fall. This recommendation may change based on new testing dates and the number of colleges that switch to test optional for the class of 2021.
- SAT Subject Tests: there are SAT subject test fee waivers to cover the cost of the SAT Subject Tests (also called SAT IIs), which are recommended by UVA and other similarly selective schools. The SAT Subject Tests are available in specific content areas (similar to AP exams). Typically spring of junior year is an ideal time to take the SAT Subject Tests because the content is most fresh in student’s minds before summer break however due to the pandemic the next SAT Subject test is not being offered until August 2019.
- SAT and ACT Fee Waivers: students receiving free or reduced lunch may take both the ACT and the SAT for free two times, in addition to the two times the SAT is offered for free at TCW Williams (spring of junior year and fall of senior year). Again, things are evolving as the SAT scheduled for April 14, 2020 for ALL TC Juniors was cancelled.
Have you started to think about your essays and personal statements for your college applications? Now is a good time to begin to working on your college essays. Your essay is not supposed to be a timeline, resume or a general five paragraph expository essay with an introduction and conclusion. Your essay should be personal and should show not tell the reader more about you. REMEMBER that many selective schools and majors require supplemental essays.
- Common Application 2020-21 Prompts
- Coalition Application 2020-21 Prompts
- Some helpful tips and sites:
- You don’t have to PAY someone to help you write a good essay. Work with us (Mr. Waters and Ms. Harrington), Ms. Morris, your TC English teachers, your TC Counselor and utilize any of the FREE resources online. The key to writing a good essay is making the time to brainstorm, write, edit, and rewrite.
- When seeking out topics for your college essay, you may wonder if writing about the coronavirus pandemic is a wise choice. While it’s natural to be focused on COVID-19 and the way it’s affecting your life right now, the truth is that many of your fellow applicants are likely to have similar experiences around this topic. The best college essays are unique, and students who write about the virus are unlikely to stand out from the crowd. –College Vine: https://blog.collegevine.com/should-you-write-your-college-essay-about-coronavirus/
- Some helpful tips and sites:
Have you started to narrow down your list of colleges – The Scholarship Fund would be happy to talk through your list of potential colleges with you and help you choose 6-8 schools that fit you personally, academically and financially:
- Offer your major of interest: Not sure what you want to study? Take your career and personality assessments in Naviance!
- Match your GPA & SAT/ACT scores (2 safety, 2 match, 2 reach): Take a look at the average GPA and SAT/ACT score for admittance to 4-year public and private colleges in the state of Virginia here, check out the scattergrams in Naviance, and make a free account with Princeton Review.
- Will be affordable for your family: Use the Net Price Calculator to get a personalized price for each college on your list. The Net Price Calculator will take into account your family size, income, and grades and calculate how much your family is eligible for in financial aid and scholarships at that particular school. You’ll find that each college has a different starting price (or “sticker price”) and will award you a different amount of financial aid. The goal is to make sure that you and your family can afford the schools on your list.
Consider whether you would be a good candidate to apply Early Action/Early Decision or to apply for the Posse, Questbridge, or Gates scholarship – Not sure? I’d be happy to help you evaluate your options. If you think you may be interested, there are steps you should take now to begin your applications before the school year ends. Please keep in mind that EA/ED dates are still the same at last year, but this is subject to change. Stay tuned.
- Early Action/Early Decision: Ivy Leagues and many highly selective colleges accept almost 50% of their freshman class through Early Action/Early Decision. Students who have a 3.75+ GPA and are enrolled in AP/DE courses may want to consider applying early.
- 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.
- Posse: Students with strong leadership experience who have a 3.3+ GPA and are enrolled in AP/DE courses should consider applying to Posse, a 4-year full-tuition scholarship to highly selective partner colleges. Students must be nominated (counselor, teacher or self-nomination) to apply, and the application process is interview based. Here is a link to the self-nomination form. If you would like to be nominated for Posse or have questions please let me.
- QuestBridge: Students 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 due in September of senior year.
- Gates: 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 due in September of senior year.
Looking for all-expense paid college visits? – Many colleges sponsor high achieving students from traditionally underrepresented groups, students who are the first generation in their family to attend college, and/or students from families with limited financial resources. Some of these programs are also open to undocumented or DACA students. Participation in these visits often gives you a competitive edge in the admissions process, so check out this sampling of opportunities and contact Mr. Waters or Ms. Harrington to learn more. Several of these programs have not updated their info for 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic. There is a chance these programs could be cancelled for 2020/21.
- University of Virginia: Apply for Hoos First Look by early June 2020
- Smith College: Apply for Women of Distinction by June 2020
- Barnard College: Apply for Barnard Bound by ?
- Wellesley College: Apply for Discover Wellesley Travel Grant by ?
- Williams College: Apply for Windows on Williams ?
- MIT: Apply for WISE by ?
- Swarthmore College: Apply for Discover Swarthmore by July 9th
- Amherst College: Apply for Diversity Open House by ?
- Middlebury College: Apply for Discover Middlebury by early August.
- And many more schools..from 2019, as fall 2020 and spring 2021 info and dates have not been posted yet.
9th & 11th GRADE FAMILIES
FREE Webinars, Workshop and Virtual Tours:
- Junior Night Part 1: What Can I Be Doing Now: April 22, 7-8 EST
- Junior Night Part 2: Planting Seeds For Your College Application & Essay: April 29, 7-8EST
- Coalition for College Virtual College Fair: April 23, 4-6 & 6-8:30 EST
- NAVIGATE 2020 Virtual College Fair, May 4-6:
TC ALUMNI & 12 GRADE FAMILIES
Don’t forget to renew FAFSA – Need help submitting your FAFSA for next school year or completing financial aid verification paperwork? You are more than welcome to still reach out for help!
Financial Hardship & Financial Aid Appeals : Few college students know that they can request changes to their college financial aid packages, via an appeal process.
- Is your family facing financial hardship?
- Does your families 2018 income tax return (the tax return you used on your 2020/21 FAFSA), no longer represent your current income/financial situation, due to the COVID 19 pandemic or some other personal crisis?
- If yes, please talk to the Scholarship Fund College Advisors, Ms. Harringtonfirstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Watersemail@example.com We are here to help you. There are ways to appeal to your college and ask them to do an internal recalculation of your Estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
- You should also check out a new, free digital resource that assists students with the various types of financial aid appeals. https://formswift.com/swift-student
Scholarship Fund of Alexandria renewal application opens May 1st – The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria renewal application is due by July 15th for Scholarship Fund awardees in the classes of 2017, 2018, and 2019 with 2.0+ GPA. Please contact the Scholarship Fund office with any questions!
Below is a list of upcoming scholarships. Local scholarships are indicated by pink text.
- Horatio Alger Scholarship – April 15, 2020 – $2,500 scholarship for seniors graduating 2020 and pursuing a career or technical program (up to 2 years) AND A second application deadline of June 15, for those who already graduated from high school.
- Nurse Corps Scholarship – April 30, 2020- Full tuition/fees renewable scholarship and monthly stipend for nursing students who will commit to working for 4 years in an area of the US with a critical shortage of nurses; open to high school seniors and current college students accepted into or enrolled in an Associates or Bachelor’s level nursing program
- Nextiva Business Scholarship-May 1, 2020, $1,000- college student, studying STEAM, 3.0 GPA or higher and US citizen or resident.
- OAR Scholarship – May 4, 2020 – $3,000 scholarship open to students across the autism spectrum
- Alexandria Old School Alumni Scholarship – TBD…website still not updated for 2020 – Open to current TC Williams seniors with 2.5+ GPA
- Whitaker Foundation Art Scholarship Program – May 5, 2020 – $2,000 scholarship for art students (with a special emphasis on watercolor, art history, or museum studies)
- Debra Deneise Smith Foundation Scholarship–May 5, 2020, two (2) $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to seniors attending TC Williams High School, Mount Vernon High School, West Potomac High School and or Hayfield High School.
- UNCF (United Negro College Fund) Scholarships with April and May 2020 deadlines: https://scholarships.uncf.org/?_ga=2.26330493.178962449.1587566787-1262848568.1578358347
- Thermo Fisher Scientific Scholarship – May 5, 2020 – $10,000 scholarship and 5 $5,000 Scholarships for current college students with 3.0+ GPA who have declared a major of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or related life science field
- Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities Seeks Applications for the Gerry Bertler Scholarship–May 8. Applications are being accepted for this merit-based scholarship, awarded to an Alexandria resident or student with a disability who is seeking post-secondary education.
- Children’s Defense Fund Beat the Odds Scholarship, May 15, 2020-5, $10,000 scholarships. To apply, students must be high school juniors in the DMV area, who have demonstrated a commitment to their community and a potential for academic success despite facing difficult circumstances in their lives. In addition to providing honorees with a $10,000 scholarship once they are in college, CDF’s Beat the Odds® Program provides opportunities for honorees to engage in CDF’s broader work, including internship and employment opportunities.
- B. Davis Scholarship – May 22, 2020 – $1,000 leadership essay contest open to high school juniors and seniors as well as current college students
- Cameron Impact Scholarship – May 22, 2020 (priority deadline) – CLASS of 2021 students with strong leadership skills, extensive community service and extracurricular experiences, and 3.7+ unweighted GPA should consider applying to the Cameron Impact Scholarship, a 4-year full-ride, merit-based scholarship
- Alexandria Sportsmen’s Club Scholarship–May 22, 2020. $2,000 scholarship. All applicants must have played at least one season of a Varsity sport and be enrolled as a senior at one of the four Alexandria City, VA high schools: Bishop Ireton High School, Episcopal High School, St. Stephens & St. Agnes School or T.C. Williams High School
- Posse – May 29, 2020 – 4-year, full-tuition scholarship to a DC region Posse partner college (University of Rochester, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bucknell University, Sewanee: The University of the South, & Lafayette College). Open to current juniors (including undocumented or DACA students). Juniors, if you would like to be nominated for the Posse Scholarship, please contact Ms. Harrington or Ms. Morris. You will be notified about the status of your nomination request in June.
- Minerva Beauty Scholarship – May 31, 2020– One $5,000 and two $2,500 Open to students currently enrolled in a cosmetology program with 3.0+ GPA
- Triple Impact Scholarship – May 31, 2020 – $2,000-$500 scholarship open to High School Juniors (Class of 2021) with 2.5+ GPA who participate in team sports
- American Indian College Fund – May 31, 2020 – Open to students with 2.0+ GPA who are enrolled members of a federal or state recognized tribe
- Foot Locker Scholarship – May 29, 2020- $5,000 scholarship open to high school seniors and current college students with 3.0+ GPA provided they are attending one of the 37 UNCF member colleges or universities
- CNO Naval History Scholarship – May 31, 2020 – $5,000, $2,500 and $1,500 essay contest on a lesson learned from naval history that can be applied today
- Mary Blackwell Barnes Scholarship – May 31, 2020 – Open to female students who are rising sophomores to graduate level status, at VA or DC colleges and who display interest in the field of public finance
- Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship– June 1, 2020 – $1,200 scholarship open to students applying to or currently enrolled in cosmetology or barbering schools
- American Indian Nurse Scholarship – June 1, 2020- Candidate must be at least 1/4 American Indian and enrolled in a nursing program; $3,000 per year renewable scholarship
- Fundera – June 1, 2020 – $2,000 award per semester (Fall semester deadline June 1, 2020 and Spring semester deadline Jan 1, 2021.) entrepreneurial video/social media contest open to high school seniors and current college students.
- Prism Foundation (formerly GAPA foundation) – June 7, 2020 – $1,00o to 5,000 scholarship open to high school seniors and current college students who have history of activism within either the API and/or LGBTQ communities
- A&F Scholarship – June 12, 2020 – $1,000 scholarship open to high school juniors and seniors as well as current college students; essay on career and life goals
- Narrative Prize – June 15, 2020- $4,000 prize awarded for the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published Narrative
- American Muscle Automotive Student Scholarship – June 15, 2020 (and October 15 deadline for spring semester)- $2,000 scholarship open to high school seniors and current college students pursuing an automotive themed major
- Big Sun Athletic Scholarship – June 19, 2020 – $500 scholarship open to high school seniors who are student athletes
- Providian Medical Scholarship – June 21, 2020 (and January 15, 20201 for the Spring semester) – Essay contest on medical technology; $500 scholarship open to current college students and high school seniors with 3.0+ GPA
- Ethiopian Heritage Scholarship – June 26, 2020 – $1,000 renewable local scholarship. The Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Ethiopian Heritage College Scholarship Fund was created in 2008 to support college-bound high school seniors in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The purpose of the fund is to find and then assist youngsters with few financial resources in their pursuit of higher education and a much-desired college degree.
- Automotive Hall of Fame – June 30, 2020 – Open to high school seniors and college students interested in an automotive career with 3.0+ GPA
- Power & Energy Society Scholarship – June 30, 2020 – $2,000 and $3,000 renewable scholarship open to current college students considering a career in electric power and energy engineering
- Huntington Scholarship Sweepstakes – June 30, 2020 – $4,000 scholarship drawing open to high school seniors
- Because College is Expensive Drawing – June 30, 2020 (and March, September and December…end of each quarter) – $500 scholarship drawing open to high school juniors and seniors as well as current college students.
- Alfred Street Baptist Church Scholarship–June 30, 2020 (scholarship opened March 2020)– $1,000-$20,000 scholarships open to high school seniors from the DC metro area with 2.75+ GPA, combined SAT scores (reading/writing and math) of 850 or above /or composite ACT score of 19 or higher, community service involvement, and financial need
- Dream is Inclusive™Scholarship-July 31, 2020. 3, $1,500 scholarships in celebration of the languages offered under their Multicultural Advantage (mortgage) program.
- SR Education Group – Community College Scholarship – September 30, 2020 – $5,000 scholarship open to students currently enrolled in community college.
- SR Education Group – Military Scholarship – September 30, 2020 – $5,000 scholarship open to current college students who are veterans, active duty military, or children of service members/veterans
- $2,000 No Essay Scholarship
- $1,000 Cappex Easy Money Scholarship
- Schmidt Vocal Scholarships-$1000-$2500; deadline is two weeks prior to competition. Competitions throughout the year. High school sophomores, juniors, or seniors recommended by their choral directors or vocal teachers are eligible to compete. Singers are allowed to enter only one Schmidt Vocal Competition per competition season. To be eligible for cash awards, contestants must have a United States Social Security Number and must be United States citizens, Green Card holders, or have DACA approved status.
Stay safe and strong during this unprecedented time. 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