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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Scholarships Target WCC Students

If you need money for college, many scholarships are aimed at WCC students. There’s money available whether you’re a current WCC student or a high school student planning to attend the College.

Some scholarships require financial need, some are based on merit, and some combine both criteria. There also are special scholarships for students with disabilities.

Scholarships are an important part of the financial aid package for many students, said Lori Trapp, director of Financial Aid. “For some students who may not be eligible for federal aid or who don’t qualify for enough money to pay their costs, scholarships play a big role,” she said. “They can fill that gap.”

But “lots of students” miss out because they apply too late, she said. For example, application deadlines for Fall Semester scholarships are typically the previous spring, but some students wait until summer to start looking around for scholarships.

Following are descriptions of scholarships that are specifically aimed at WCC students.

WCC Foundation Scholarships

High school seniors and current WCC students are eligible to apply for WCC Foundation Scholarships. Each year, the Foundation awards about $500,000 in scholarships to 1,000 WCC students.

The Foundation makes awards based on a combination of merit and financial need. Applicants must have at least a 2.0 grade point average and meet other requirements. Before applying, students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The size of the scholarship is based on how many credit hours a student plans to take:

  • 12 hours or more: $800
  • 9-11 hours: $600
  • 6-8 hours: $400
  • 1-5 hours: $200

The scholarships are renewable, but recipients must apply again each semester.

The Foundation’s first priority is giving awards to students who don’t get other financial aid, said Alicia Schuster, the Foundation’s scholarship coordinator. “We first fund students who don’t have other resources,” she said.

Schuster said all students should apply for Foundation scholarships, even if they think their family incomes are too high to qualify. “I think it’s a no-brainer for everybody to do it,” she said. “It’s kind of silly not to apply.”

The most important part of the application is a personal statement of 250 words or less that explains the applicant’s academic and career goals, Schuster said. Applicants also can use the statement to describe any special circumstances that make them deserving of a scholarship.

“Your personal statement is really your chance to sell yourself to the committee,” Schuster said. “So the more compelling your personal statement is, the better your chances will be. The personal statement holds a lot of weight.”

Schuster said applicants also should use the personal statement to explain any problems in their transcripts, such as dropped classes. “Address that, and own up to your mistakes,” she said.

Schuster recommends that students write the personal statement first so they can cut and paste it into the application. With the personal statement written, it should only take five minutes to fill out the application, she said.

The application deadlines each year are:

  • June 10 for Fall Semester
  • Oct. 10 for Winter Semester
  • Feb. 10 for Spring/Summer Semester

High School Honor Scholarships

WCC offers two scholarships to seniors at public high schools in Washtenaw County. Both pay full tuition for two consecutive semesters (fall and winter) and provide $300 for books each semester. The scholarships are renewable for a second year.

Applicants for the President’s Honor Scholarship must have at least a 3.2 grade point average. Students applying for the Procassini Honor Scholarship must have strong scholastic achievement and/or outstanding accomplishments in high school.

Trapp said students should take care when filling out the application, which covers both scholarships “It’s important to take your time and be thoughtful when doing these applications, because we really do read them all,” she said.

Before applying for the scholarships, students must apply for admission to WCC. The scholarship application deadline is April 30 each year.

Student Resource and Women’s Center Scholarships

Scholarships that help pay for tuition and books are available through the Student Resource and Women’s Center. And despite the center’s name, scholarships are available for both male and female students.

There isn’t an application form for the SRWC scholarships. Instead, a student must:

The case managers assess students’ needs, determine whether they qualify for SRWC scholarships, and help them find other sources of financial aid, said Liz Orbits, SRWC manager.

Scholarships are typically provided to students from low-income families or students with “compelling circumstances” that keep them from going to school, Orbits said. “We want to help them remove the barriers,” she said.

Orbits said students shouldn’t automatically assume their income is too high to qualify for a scholarship. “I would not disqualify anyone without talking to them, because you never know,” she said. “Even if we can’t help you, we might know of a resource that could help.”

The application deadlines each year are:

  • July 28 for Fall Semester
  • Nov. 28 for Winter Semester
  • April 15 for Spring/Summer Semester

Morse B. Barker Memorial Scholarship

The Morse B. Barker Memorial Scholarship is available to high school seniors and current WCC students. The scholarships average $1,000 each, and multiple awards are made annually.

Applicants must have financial need, be permanent residents of Washtenaw County, and have at least a 2.0 GPA, among other requirements. The application deadline each year is April 1.

The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation sponsors the scholarship.

Divisional Scholarships

Current WCC students can apply for Divisional Scholarships that pay full tuition for fall and winter semesters and provide up to $300 for books each semester.

To apply, you must have completed 30 credit hours (20 hours for vocational technologies students), have at least a 3.3 grade point average, and live in Washtenaw County. Besides filling out the application online, you must submit letters of recommendation from two instructors in your area of study.

The application deadline is May 10 each year.

Child Care Scholarships

WCC students with financial need can apply for scholarships that help pay for child care. Scholarships are available for care at WCC’s Children’s Center or at licensed off-campus child care centers.

To apply, students must fill out the application for the on-campus child care scholarship or the off-campus child care scholarship. They also must meet with a case manager at the Student Resource and Women’s Center, which administers the awards.

The application deadlines each year are:

  • July 28 for Fall Semester
  • Nov. 28 for Winter Semester
  • April 15 for Spring/Summer Semester

Burt Black Memorial Fund Scholarship

The Burt Black Memorial Fund Scholarship is available to high school seniors and current WCC students who have physical and/or learning disabilities. The award is $500.

Applicants who have both a physical and a learning disability get priority for the scholarship. Application forms are available at Learning Support Services, which is located in Room 104 of the Crane Liberal Arts and Science building.

The application deadlines each year are:

  • June 10 for Fall Semester
  • Oct. 20 for Winter Semester
  • Feb. 10 for Spring/Summer Semester

Washtenaw Learning Disabilities Association Scholarship

The Washtenaw Learning Disabilities Association Scholarship has a maximum value of $500. It’s available to students with documented disabilities who will attend or are attending WCC, with preference given to high school seniors who expect to graduate at the end of the current year.

Applicants must live in the Washtenaw County school district and have a minimum grade point average of 2.0. The application form has further details about the scholarship. The application deadline each year is June 30.

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