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Students Attend Financial Aid Workshop

Students+wait+in+Hooper+Auditorium+for+the+financial+aid+workshop+to+begin.+The+financial+aid+workshop+was+hosted+by+counselors+Dr.+Heath+Stevens+and+Mrs.+Shelle+Bates+Wednesday+afternoon.
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Students Attend Financial Aid Workshop

Students wait in Hooper Auditorium for the financial aid workshop to begin. The financial aid workshop was hosted by counselors Dr. Heath Stevens and Mrs. Shelle Bates Wednesday afternoon.

Students wait in Hooper Auditorium for the financial aid workshop to begin. The financial aid workshop was hosted by counselors Dr. Heath Stevens and Mrs. Shelle Bates Wednesday afternoon.

Brady Suttles

Students wait in Hooper Auditorium for the financial aid workshop to begin. The financial aid workshop was hosted by counselors Dr. Heath Stevens and Mrs. Shelle Bates Wednesday afternoon.

Brady Suttles

Brady Suttles

Students wait in Hooper Auditorium for the financial aid workshop to begin. The financial aid workshop was hosted by counselors Dr. Heath Stevens and Mrs. Shelle Bates Wednesday afternoon.

Brady Suttles, News Editor

Students filed into Hooper Auditorium Wednesday afternoon to learn about scholarships and other opportunities from counselors Dr. Heath Stevens and Mrs. Shelle Bates.

MSMS counselors hosted a financial aid workshop where they took students through the types of financial aid: need-based, merit-based and State-based–and various scholarships they could apply for that fell under the three categories.

Need-based financial aid is a resource for a targeted group of students. To qualify for financial aid, students must fill out the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which opens October 1. The FAFSA offers “the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school.” Most colleges use the FAFSA to determine a student’s eligibility for need-based scholarships.

One of the most known need-based scholarships is the National College Match through Questbridge, which matches talented, low income students with a college for free. Families must make below $65,000  a year to be eligible for Questbridge. Seniors can no longer participate in the College Match; however, juniors can take part in the match when the application opens next fall. During the Spring, Questbridge also affords students with the opportunity of being a College Prep Scholar. Questbridge CPS complete an application similar to that of the NCM where they tell their stories. A student can apply for different types of aid in the form of a technology grant, fly in programs, and summer programs, all paid for.

Additionally, The Jack Kent Cooke is currently open to seniors. This scholarship gives students up to 40,000 a year. Applicants must have a minimum ACT score of a 26 and come from a household earning no more than $95,000 a year. This year, students are able to apply to the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship through the Common Application.

The counselors also informed students of various scholarships open only to minorities. These include the Gates Scholarship, Ron Brown Scholarship and ASIASF (open to the Asian and Pacific Islander community).

Merit based Scholarships mentioned include the National Merit Scholarship. This is based off of the scores from the PSAT students take in their junior year. This year’s PSAT is coming up on October 10. Recently, 15 National Merit Semifinalists were announced from the class of 2019. These students now have the opportunity to apply for Finalist status where they must take the SAT and give a personal statement. The National Merit Scholarship offers anywhere from $2,500 to a “full ride” scholarship depending on the college the finalist attends.

An additional scholarship is the Horatio Alger Scholarship that students who have overcome a substantial obstacle in life write about their experience. This affords students up to $25,000 per year and is due October 25.

State-based scholarships are for students who plan on attending an in-state institution for the next four years. The Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG)  opens October 1 and closes September of next year. Requirements include a minimum of 29 ACT score and 3.5 GPA.

Additional state based scholarships include the HELP scholarship and NISS scholarship. Both require a 20 ACT score and 2.5 GPA. The applications open October 1 and close March 31. For the NISS scholarship applicants must provide a brief essay of 200 words max on how their future plans support the Automotive industry of Mississippi. Both scholarships cover full tuition and fees at a public Mississippi college.

Scholarship agencies such as, Fastweb Scholarships.com, Cappex, get2college and Niche were discussed. And various other scholarships including the Pointe Foundation, LEDA, DYW, and Coolidge(open only to juniors) were made evident.

Students who attended the event spoke on how the information impacted them.

“I learned that the scholarship applications process is a whole separate process than applying to schools. I learned a lot of the major scholarship deadlines are in October and November, and that I should be more on top of deadlines. I had the wrongful notion that applying to college and applying to scholarships were one process, but now I know they are two separate giants that I’m going to have to take on,” senior Liz Huynh said.

“I knew there were private scholarships that were a big deal, but even if you go for a free ride and get private scholarships you net the money from the scholarships. And I really want to do that,” senior Cade Burton said.

“I felt the financial aid workshop was very informing. It allowed us to explore new scholarships and to open our mind to keeping our options open toward college and keeping free money in mind,” senior Jilkiah Bryant said.

Students are encouraged to stay informed on these scholarships and their due dates, as they can make a major impact on the student’s college decision.

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About the Photographer
Brady Suttles, News Editor

Brady Suttles, a senior at MSMS hailing from Meridian, MS, is the returning News Editor for the Vision. When he isn't rapidly editing articles and asserting...

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