for High School Seniors
August through November
You should already be applying to the schools you may want to attend. Now is also the time to begin searching for scholarships that can help you pay for your education. As you search for scholarships, make a list of those you are interested in and for which you are eligible. Be sure your list includes application deadlines and information about how to apply. Scholarships are out there, but you need to look for them. The Kalamazoo Area Scholarship Search on this website is a good place to start, but there are many other places to look and options to consider:
- Check out free scholarship search websites.
- Check bulletin boards at your high school.
- Ask your parents if the companies they work for offer scholarships. Ask your own employer!
- Check with the financial aid offices of the colleges you are interested in attending.
In addition to searching and applying for scholarships, you should:
- Take the ACT or SAT. If you haven’t already taken the ACT or SAT, you should register to take one of these tests by October of your senior year. Most colleges require either an ACT or SAT score and many scholarship programs require that you submit these scores as part of your scholarship application.
- Check with your school’s guidance office to find out if it will offer a financial aid information program during the fall or winter and plan to attend if one will be offered. If your school does not host a financial aid program, plan to attend the Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s 2016 Kalamazoo Area Financial Aid Night at 7 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2016 at Kalamazoo RESA’s Wile Auditorium at 1819 E. Milham Rd.
Consider applying for the Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s Clarence L. Remynse Scholarship, which is for high school seniors who will major in business, education, law, medicine, psychology or science. The application deadline is December 1.
If you decide to apply for the Community Foundation’s Clarence L. Remynse Scholarship, your application materials are due by midnight on December 1.
Mid-December is the time to start your application for other Kalamazoo Community Foundation scholarships.
January through March
Keep at it. The are many scholarships available besides those offered by the Community Foundation. Keep searching and complete the applications for the scholarships you are interested in and eligible for. Make sure you submit them well before the deadlines.
Also make note of these important dates:
If you are graduating from high school in 2016, or even if you are already in college, you need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid—commonly known as the FAFSA—by March 1, 2015 to be considered for federal student financial aid. Make sure you do it right. For expert help, plan to attend College Goal Sunday. That day, financial aid professionals will be on hand to help you fill out your FAFSA and answer your financial aid questions. Important: Visit www.micollegegoal.org for a list of what you need to bring—including your Federal Student Aid ID, which you obtain at www.fsaid.ed.gov—with you that day.
- March 1
Complete and submit your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov by March 1, 2015. Before you fill out the form, you and your parent/gaurdian must each get a FSA ID from www.fsaid.ed.gov. Filling out the FAFSA online is the best way to do it, but you can still get a paper form by calling 1-800-433-3243 or 1-800-730-8913 if you are hearing impaired. You may request up to three forms.
- March 1
Applications for many of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s scholarships must be completed by midnight on March 1.
April through June
In the spring you will begin receiving information about the various forms of financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) for which you have applied:
- Watch your mail and email for reports and financial aid award letters.
- Carefully read each notification you receive.
- Respond to award letters if requested. If you are awarded a scholarship, most will require that you respond or sign an agreement by a specific date. These deadlines are just as important as the initial application deadline.
- If you submitted the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report. If you filed electronically, you will receive your SAR electronically. Review your SAR and make sure the information is correct. If corrections are necessary, respond promptly.
July and August
Enjoy your summer and get ready for the excitement and challenge of college!