OPS Counseling Apply2College

February 2021 Newsletter

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Juniors...here's what you need to know about scholarships

Scholarships are awarded to students by colleges and organizations to help pay for college. It's FREE money you don't have to pay back. Most scholarships are based on academics, others on community service, school involvement, or a talent. Some are based on financial need as determined by the results of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) which you'll complete this fall.

Here's what you can do now to earn scholarships:

  • Pay attention to scholarships seniors are receiving and ask how they earned them.
  • Set up a ScholarshipQuest profile at EducationQuest.org. You'll be matched with scholarships that fit your criteria.
  • Look through the OPS Scholarship Handbook to get an idea of what will be available for next year. (ask your counselor for a copy or the link to this)
  • As you're researching colleges, ask about scholarships they offer and how you could qualify.
  • Do well in school. Academic scholarships are based on criteria such as your GPA and ACT score.
  • Get involved. Some scholarships are based on involvement in school clubs, community service, and activities such as music, drama, art, or sports.
  • Start writing your


OPS Middle and Elementary Scholarships

Seniors who attended Elementary and/or Middle School in OPS, may be eligible to apply for these scholarships. Applications with list of participating schools are below. Completed application are due to your counseling office by February 25, 2021.

Scholarship Application Tips from EducationQuest

Thousands of local, state and national scholarships are available – and you may qualify for many of them. Here are a few places to look:
  • ScholarshipQuest features over 2,000 Nebraska-based scholarships. After you create a profile, you’ll be matched with scholarships that fit your criteria.
  • Your school counselor’s office. Visit at least once a month during your senior year to check on local and national awards.
  • The college you plan to attend. Contact the school for a list of scholarships and application procedures.
  • National search sites such as College Board, Peterson’s and Good Call.
  • Other resources could include your coach, clubs and organizations, and your parents’ employers and civic organizations.

Most scholarships are based on academics, but others are based on community service, school involvement, or talent in art, dance, music, or athletics. Some are based on financial need as measured by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Therefore, to earn scholarships, earn good grades, get involved in your school and community, and complete the FAFSA.

Follow these tips!

  • Organize scholarships in deadline order and set aside time each week to work on them.
  • Focus on college-based and local scholarships. You’re more likely to earn them over large national awards.
  • On the application, list your activities, awards, honors classes and volunteer or paid jobs. Track them using the Activities Resume.
  • Earn the best possible ACT/SAT scores by taking the exams in the spring of your junior year and again in the fall of your senior year.
  • If an application requires a letter of recommendation, give the person writing the letter plenty of notice, a specific deadline, and a list of your accomplishments and activities.
  • After writing an essay, ask an English teacher to review it.
  • Don’t ever pay for scholarship services! Talk to your school counselor or contact EducationQuest about free resources.

My FAFSA's Complete, Now What?

If you HAVE ALREADY completed your FAFSA, here's what happens next:

Expect a Student Aid Report (SAR) via an email link. The SAR acknowledges that your FAFSA was received and lets you know if you need to take further action before the form can be processed.

You might receive a "verification" request from the colleges you listed on your FAFSA. You must provide the requested documents before the college(s) will process your financial aid.

Watch for financial aid notifications from the college(s) detailing the types and amounts of financial aid they are offering. You must be accepted for admission before the college will award financial aid.

If your family income has been impacted by the pandemic or other circumstances, contact the college to ask if your financial aid can be adjusted.

Watch your email and/or student portal carefully to ensure you don’t miss important information about admission and financial aid.

Joyce Ivy Foundation Summer Scholars Program

The Summer Scholars program provides scholarships for talented female high school students to participate in a summer academic program at one of their partner programs – some of the most rigorous and selective colleges and universities in the country.

Interested in learning more?

During 30-45 minute virtual information sessions, Joyce Ivy Foundation leadership will give a brief overview of the Summer Scholars program and review how to apply. Next, participants will have the opportunity to interact directly with scholarship alumnae to ask questions and hear firsthand details of the pre-college summer program experience.

For more info or to apply for this program, click HERE.

The application deadline is March 1, 2021.