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Duval County Public Schools

Scholarship and Financial Assistance Opportunities for Education Beyond High School

Graduation from high school is the first major step into your future. In today’s world, continuing your
education beyond high school must be considered. Graduates have many post-secondary (i.e. after high
school) options to consider – college, university, and/or vocational training programs. Many organizations
support post-secondary programs by providing financial assistance for students. The purpose of this book
is to provide a starting point for students looking for financial assistance for pursuing post-secondary
options.

Financial Aid is money you may be eligible to receive for post-secondary education in the form of
scholarships, grants, loans, and/or work study programs. Scholarships are merit-based awards for
academic ability, athletic ability, special talents, personal characteristics, or unique affiliations.
Organizations awarding scholarships often define the eligibility criteria to reflect their organization’s
beliefs, mission, and/or values. Although this book lists many of the eligibility criteria for the noted
scholarships, be sure to verify eligibility with the organization before applying.

Scholarships can be part of the Financial Aid Package put together for you by a college or university.
You are expected to begin the Financial Aid process at many institutions. There are people able to assist
you with this process – your school counselor, scholarship coordinators, and the Financial Aid Officer at the
school you choose to attend are a few of these people. We recommend you start this process early, make
sure the application is complete, and submit the application on-time.

Note: This manual is updated each spring. Changes in conditions, eligibility criteria, availability,
and/or contact persons sometimes occur during the year. Check with the contact person/organization
noted, your school counselor, or the financial aid officers at the specified institution for the most current
information.

The DCPS Guidance Services Department also maintains an electronic version of this book. The
Scholarship eBook is located at
http://www.duvalschools.org/static/aboutdcps/departments/acadprog/guidance_services/schola
rships.asp. This website contains links to Local, State, and National scholarship programs and is updated
on a monthly basis.
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Duval County Public Schools
Scholarship and Financial Assistance Opportunities for Education Beyond High School

Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid

How does the Financial Aid Process work? Post-secondary programs involve three major areas
of expense: Educational (tuition and fees), Residential (room and board), and Incidental (books, supplies,
recreation, clothing, laundry, transportation, etc.). All of these are considered when determining a
student’s budget and eligibility for need-based financial aid programs. Most Aid is awarded on the basis of
financial need as determined through the need analysis process.

How is Financial Need determined? The family contribution, as determined by the eligibility
formula, is subtracted from the cost of college. Families provide data for the need analysis on forms
provided by your school’s guidance office. In processing the need analysis documents, the Expected
Family Contribution Formula (ECF) is used to evaluate the family’s total financial situation. This evaluation,
and the student’s eligibility for aid, is then forwarded to the institution’s financial aid office at the student’s
request.
Need is defined as: Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need

What is a Financial Aid Package? When the expected family contribution is lower than the
expected cost of attendance, the Financial Aid Office begins preparation of a Financial Aid Package (FAP).
The FAP can be a combination of gift money, loans, and work study.

• Gift money – This category includes scholarships and grants that do not need to be repaid,
usually awarded on the basis of unusual aptitude and need.

• Loans – This category includes money advanced for payment of tuition and expenses on which
interest is changed and repayment is expected.

• Work study – This category includes programs under which students can earn a portion of
costs through employment (usually 10-15 hours per week).

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Duval County Public Schools
Scholarship and Financial Assistance Opportunities for Education Beyond High School

How to Apply for Financial Aid

1. After applying to the post-secondary programs of your choice, write to each institution’s Office
of Financial Aid and request all current financial aid information and student aid applications.

2. A law passed in 1992 requires students to file a Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) to
apply for federal and state need-based aid. Filing this form establishes eligibility for Pell
Grants, Stafford Loans, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, college work-study, and
Perkins Loans. Supplementary data that a state or institution may need in order to award funds
will be collected on supplemental forms. Check with individual institutions to see what type of
supplemental form, if any, is needed. The FAFSA is processed for free. The student and family
contribution to educational costs will be determined from an analysis of the information on the
FAFSA.

3. The FAFSA is based on family income. This form cannot be submitted before January 1 of the
calendar year you are entering college. Questions on this form are based on income tax
returns filed for the previous year. All students need to file the FAFSA. Some colleges may
require you complete additional forms. Be sure to check with your institution.

4. FAFSA forms are available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov or in your school’s Guidance Office in
January.

5. Complete all financial aid forms and either submit them online or return them to the address
on the forms.

6. The individual institutions determine the financial aid a student receives. A Financial Aid
Package (FAP) may consist of one or more of the following: grants, loans, scholarships, or work
study.

7. The institution will send the student a Financial Aid Award letter which describes the aid the
student can receive.
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Duval County Public Schools
Scholarship and Financial Assistance Opportunities for Education Beyond High School
Federal Financial Aid Programs

I. Federal Pell Grants – This is the largest federal program and takes the form of a non-payable grant. Awards
depend on program funding. Both eligibility for and the size of award are established under the need analysis
system determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) formula. Application process: Complete
institution’s financial aid application as soon as possible. Submit FAFSA form after Jan. 1.

II. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – Another federal grant program
administered by participating institutions. Range of aid is $100-$4,000 per academic year. FSEOGs are usually
awarded to students with exceptional financial need. Application process: Complete institution’s application
for financial aid as soon as possible. Submit FAFSA form after January 1.

III. Federal Perkins Loans – The institution administers federal funds through a lending program. The
maximum loan amount for an undergraduate is $3,000 per year, with an aggregate loan limit of $15,000. The
5% interest rate is subsidized by the federal government until the student begins repayment after leaving
school. The student has 10 years to repay the loan. Application process: Complete institution’s application for
financial aid as soon as possible. Submit FAFSA form after Jan. 1.

IV. Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) – This federally subsidized employment program is for students who
must earn part of their educational expenses. Application process: Complete the institution and FAFSA
financial aid forms.

V. Federal Family Education Loan Program/Federal Direct Loan Program – If, after awarding both state
and federal resources, the student still has need, the institution may suggest a student pursue a loan from an
eligible lending institution or the federal government.

a. Federal Stafford Loans – Families having demonstrated financial need will be eligible for a Stafford
subsidized loan (federal government pays interest on loan until repayment begins). Families unable to
show need may be eligible for unsubsidized loans. Under the unsubsidized program, the loan accrues
interest from the time the money is disbursed. Payment of interest can be deferred until after the
student graduates, but it is recommended interest payments are made while the student is enrolled.
Repayment begins six months after leaving college with a variable interest rate not to exceed 8.25%.
Students may be allowed up to 10 years to repay with a minimum annual repayment of $600.
Application process: Applications are available at lending institutions and financial aid offices.

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Duval County Public Schools
Scholarship and Financial Assistance Opportunities for Education Beyond High School
b. Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) – This non-need loan program permits
parents who pass a credit check to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other aid the student is
receiving. The interest rate is variable not to exceed 9%. Repayment of interest and principal begins
within 60 days of the disbursement of the loan. Application process: Applications are available at
lending institutions and financial aid offices.

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Duval County Public Schools
Scholarship and Financial Assistance Opportunities for Education Beyond High School
State of Florida Financial Aid Programs

There are numerous scholarship, grant, and loan programs available through the State of Florida’s Office of Student
Financial Assistance (OSFA). OSFA has established a website to provide online information relating to the Florida
Bright Futures Scholarship program and over 30 additional scholarships and grant programs. In the past, students
had to file a separate application for each of the state-funded student financial aid programs, including Florida Bright
Futures. The process has been streamlined with a new common application, the Florida Financial Aid Application
(FFAA). The web-enabled FFAA provides access to program requirements, the application, and award status. It is
very important that every student complete the FFAA online or on hard copy (available from the school counselor)
before they graduate.

I. Florida Student Assistance Grant – Eligible students may receive $200-$1,500 annually. A student will be
awarded aid based on need up to the maximum of tuition and fees. Application process: Students will be
considered for this program based on the information provided on the FAFSA and FFAA.

II. Florida Resident Access Grant – Students attending Florida private institutions may receive non-need-
based assistance. The award is determined each year as specified by the General Appropriations Act.
Application process: Applications available from eligible institutions’ financial aid offices or from the Office of
Student Financial Assistance, Department of Education, Tallahassee, FL 32390.

III. Bright Futures Scholarship Program and 30 Additional Scholarships – Through the Florida Bright
Futures Scholarship Program, students can qualify for one of three awards: Florida Academic Scholars Award
(FAS), Florida Medallion Scholars Award (FMS), or Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award (GSV). All
students will receive the specified award amounts established by the Florida Legislature in the General
Appropriations Act. Award amounts for each academic year will be available in the summer after the
legislative session. Visit www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org to view award amounts and apply. The
application gives the Department of Education permission to evaluate a student’s transcript for eligibility
Bright Futures and will other scholarships and grants. STUDENTS MUST APPLY DURING THEIR LAST YEAR IN
HIGH SCHOOL FOR BRIGHT FUTURES OR ALL FUTURE ELIGIBILITY IS FORFEITED. Each senior is provided
additional information at their high school in January or February through the Duval County Public Schools’
BEACON program.

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Duval County Public Schools
Scholarship and Financial Assistance Opportunities for Education Beyond High School

An on-line version of this Scholarship


Book is located at
http://www.duvalschools.org/static/aboutdcps/
departments/acadprog/guidance_services/schol
arships.asp. Information in the eBook is
updated on a monthly basis. Check back
frequently for new information and
scholarships.

The NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS have been


moved to the on-line version.

Use this manual and the DCPS link to start


your scholarship search, and then do some
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Duval County Public Schools
Scholarship and Financial Assistance Opportunities for Education Beyond High School

investigating on your own through your high


school Guidance Office, the internet, or your
selected school’s website.

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