Education News

VSAC offers diverse financial aid info

WINOOSKI — It’s the time of year for college applications and all that entails, including figuring out how to pay for it. Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) has developed resources to help students and their families navigate the world of financial aid and scholarships and encourages anyone interested in financial assistance for their post-high school education to take advantage of what VSAC has to offer.

WEBINARS

In the next VSAC Shows You How webinar, simulcast to Facebook on Thursday, Nov. 18, from 6 to 7 p.m., VSAC experts walk you through how to complete the Vermont State Grant application, question-by-question. They’ll also show students how to apply for any of the 120-plus VSAC-assisted scholarships.

Register for the webinar at tinyurl.com/VSAC-webinar-Nov to participate in VSAC’s step-by-step tutorial. There will be plenty of opportunity to get answers to  questions, too. Those who can’t attend the live event can watch the recorded video later at their convenience.

SCHOLARSHIP BOOKLET

The internet abounds with all manner of scholarships available to students of certain backgrounds or interested in specific career fields, and the search can be overwhelming. VSAC has compiled a scholarship booklet of opportunities available only to Vermont residents. Many of those scholarships receive only 100 or so applicants — which means applicants may have a higher chance of receiving a Vermont-specific scholarship than if they are competing nationwide.

This year’s booklet includes information on 126 scholarships administered by VSAC, plus an additional 35 scholarships run by outside organizations.

There’s a scholarship opportunity for virtually every academic interest. Some of the more common fields include business, technical industries, environmental studies, public safety, health care and education. But there are also some very specific opportunities for interests less popular, such as musical performance, ski area management and electrical line work.

No matter what part of the state students live in, there’s likely to be a scholarship opportunity for residents of their town or county, or graduates of their high school. There’s also a wide range of programs offered to students from certain family backgrounds. Students of color, students who identify as LGBTQ, female students, students with disabilities, students who’ve experienced foster care, and students whose parents work in particular industries — such as farming, retail, public safety and even broadcasting — are eligible for specific programs.

Many scholarships are offered just to first-generation students or students who are the first in their families to go to college. Some offer one-time awards, while others are renewable, meaning the student can receive additional financial awards for each subsequent year of study. The annual award amounts generally range from $500 to $6,000.

The application deadline is Feb. 11 for all VSAC-assisted scholarships, and all those programs require a completed FAFSA and Unified Scholarship Application (USA), plus a general essay. The VSAC booklet covers any additional application requirements, such as recommendation letters or transcripts, for each individual scholarship. Deadlines and requirements for the non-VSAC scholarships vary.

Download the 2022–2023 scholarship booklet, order a printed copy through the mail, or check your school counseling office to see if they’ve ordered copies. Anyone with questions is encouraged to talk with the VSAC outreach counselor at their school, visit vsac.org, email scholarships@vsac.org or call 888-253-4819.

For information on college and career planning and help with financial aid, go to vsac.org/FAFSAfirst and check out VSAC’s online workshops and events. For an update of how VSAC can help with the impact of COVID-19, go to vsac.org/covid-19-updates-ways-vsac-can-help. You can also call at 800-642-3177, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday log onto info@vsac.org.

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