_____ Establish and maintain a valid email address. We STRONGLY suggest a gmail account.
_____ Register for ACT (Last test date for scholarship deadline is December) Believe it or not, you can improve your score by taking the test again. Arkansas Challenge ONLY criteria is a minimum of a 19! That's $14,000 to assist with college if you have at least a 19 on the ACT.
_____ Keep your grades up! This year is just as important as all the coursework from 9th -11th grade.
_____ Consider your college options. Decide what is important to you: Location? Curriculum? Size? Diversity? Athletics?
_____ Start keeping an eye on local newspapers and college websites for college nights and open house at colleges of interest. They will be held throughout the year.
_____ Be aware of your Grade Point Average. This is a major factor in scholarships.
_____ Complete college admission applications and be admitted! (Some do/don’t require a separate scholarship application) See what your college wants!
_____ Apply for Arkansas Department of Education aid at www.adhe.edu February-March
_____ Get some pointers on writing admission essays and scholarship essays. Some colleges may require these.
_____ You may also need letters of recommendation. It’s a great idea to use former employers. Also if you are involved in church or volunteer groups, that is a plus. Admission officers and scholarship providers will want to see evidence of your leadership and commitment to service.
_____ Search for scholarship opportunities
_____ Some colleges have an Early Decision Deadline of November 1 or 15. Know what your college requires.
_____ FAFSA applications may start being submitted by October 1. You will use your 2016 Tax information.
_____ Parent/Student attend our Fall Financial Aid meetings.
_____ Work with Mrs. Haltom/Ms. Cammie in acquiring a PIN (electronic signature for FAFSA) for you and your parent.
_____ Check scholarship deadlines
_____ Get a jump on things by estimating your “Expected Family Contribution- EFC.”
_____ Understand the steps in completing the FAFSA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The online address is http://www.fafsa.ed.gov
_____ Be sure to send in scholarship applications on time. Several colleges have spring deadlines.
_____ Start looking for your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will be contacted my mail or email.
_____ Schedule a “College Day” to visit the college of your choice.
_____ Provide Mrs. Haltom/Ms. Cammie with any letters you receive awarding you scholarships.
_____ Your transcript will be sent electronically to the Department of Higher Education at the end of the Spring semester.
_____ Fill out transcript requests and leave with Mrs. Haltom/Ms. Cammie for every school you need a transcript sent to.
New Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship
Take advantage of the new online universal application. It’s your one-stop shop for state and lottery funded financial aid. For more information on how to apply visit www.adhe.edu. With the application you can:
· Search and apply for scholarships and grants
· Create your account and check your status
· Receive alerts and notices through email and manage your account 24/7
· Need to accept Challenge before June 1st. Be sure and have the college you plan to attend listed.
Basic Eligibility Criteria:
· Be an Arkansas resident and US citizen/lawful permanent resident
· Achieve a 19 on the ACT or the equivalent score