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GEAR UP VIRGINIA Scholarship and Achievement Grant Award Application Process.

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Presentation on theme: "GEAR UP VIRGINIA Scholarship and Achievement Grant Award Application Process."— Presentation transcript:

1 GEAR UP VIRGINIA Scholarship and Achievement Grant Award Application Process

2 Eligibility Requirements To be eligible for consideration for a GEAR UP Scholarship or Achievement Grant, a student must:  Have been a member of the original 7 th grade GEAR UP class in 2006-07.  Have a signed student information release form on file at SCHEV.  Be an active participant in GEAR UP-endorsed activities.  Graduate with a high school diploma from a participating GEAR UP high school by August 31, 2012.  Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above by the end of first semester of their senior year and maintain a 2.0 or above through graduation.

3 Eligibility Requirements  Submit all application materials by March 31, 2012.  Be accepted and enrolled at least half-time in a degree, diploma, or certificate program at an eligible institution by the beginning of the fall 2013 term.  Successfully complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Be eligible for the Pell grant as determined by the U.S. Department of Education and be awarded a Pell grant.* * Pell grant eligibility is not a requirement to be considered for the Achievement Grant; however, financial need will be considered when determining recipients.

4 Eligible Institutions An eligible institution is one that:  Is physically located in the state of Virginia.  Participates in federal Title IV student aid programs, including the Pell grant.  Agrees to participate in the GEAR UP Virginia Scholarship program (including Achievement Grant).

5 Eligible Institutions Two Exceptions: 1.Students may be eligible to receive a scholarship at an institution located in a state that borders Virginia: Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, DC, or West Virginia. These institutions must otherwise meet the eligibility requirements. 2.Students interested in a program not offered at a public Virginia institution may be eligible to receive a scholarship at an institution that is not located in Virginia if the school participates in the Academic Common Market (ACM) program and otherwise meets the eligibility requirements. Students must apply and be approved to participate in the ACM program in order to be considered for a scholarship/grant. Visit > Financial Aid > Academic Common Market for more

6 Application Availability & Deadline  Application packets will be available to students on January 2, 2012.  Packets will be mailed to GEAR UP schools in December. Students should be able to pick up a packet from their GEAR UP coordinator and/or school counselor.  A PDF of the packet will also be available on the GEAR UP website at  All application materials must be postmarked or faxed by March 31, 2012. Faxed transcripts will not be accepted.  Pre-application information flyers will be mailed to schools within the next few weeks.

7 This is the front page of the award application packet.

8 Required Application Materials  Award Application  Student Aid Report (SAR)  Official Transcript with Mid-Year Grades  Resume  Recommendation Form  Essay

9 Award Application  Four sections: Biographical information, Postsecondary Plan, FERPA Information Release, Certification and Signature.  Students must provide an accurate email address. Email is GEAR UP’s primary form of communication.  A parent or legal guardian’s signature is also required if the student is under the age of 18.

10 Award Application FERPA Information Release  FERPA allows students to give permission to others to obtain information regarding GEAR UP.  Students are not required to give others permission.  Usually include parents, guardians, older siblings.  Should not list their own name.  Must provide all information requested for each person listed (name, relationship, last 4 of SSN).  Only the student and those listed can receive information if they contact GEAR UP.

11 Student Aid Report (SAR)  The SAR summarizes all information provided on the FAFSA. Usually ranges from 5 to 10 pages.  FAFSA is available on January 1, 2012.  Students must submit entire SAR with calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) by the application deadline. Submitting a SAR without EFC is an incomplete application.  It takes approximately 3 to 5 days to receive the SAR via email (recommended) and 7 to 10 days via regular mail. Students should be mindful of these processing times.  Students must provide a valid email address to receive SAR via email.

12 Student Aid Report (SAR)  FAFSA confirmation pages and summaries will not be accepted.  Common mistakes made on FAFSA:  Student’s name does not match their SSN.  Incorrect SSN or date of birth.  Incorrect/or no income information for students/parents.  Mistakes will delay the processing of the FAFSA, which will also delay the calculation the student’s EFC. The EFC is used to determine financial need.  Students should read SAR comments page before submitting to GEAR UP.

13 Official Transcript  Transcripts must include all first semester grades and cumulative grade point average from student’s senior year.  Official transcripts must remain sealed by the school. Transcripts received with broken seals will not be accepted.  Emailed or faxed transcripts are considered unofficial and will not be accepted.

14 Official Transcript  Students can either have their official transcript mailed from their school directly to the GEAR UP office (recommended) or include the sealed envelope with other mailed application materials.  A GEAR UP transcript request form will be included in the award application packet. Students can use this form or the request form provided by their school.

15 Resume Include the following:  Name  Objective – include educational and career goals.  Education  Work experience  Academic Achievements  Activities – do not include GEAR UP activities.  Skills

16 Recommendation Form  Recommendation forms must be completed by a school official (e.g. principal, teacher, school counselor).  Cannot be completed by a school official who also works with GEAR UP.  Can be submitted by recommender or student.  Committee may contact recommenders.

17 Essay  Essay Topic: Tell us how one GEAR UP activity influenced your decision to continue your education.  Essays should be at least 250 words, double- spaced if typed.  Typed essays are preferred, but not required.  Follow standard writing guidelines.  Include name on essay.

18 What Happens Next?  Assuming that all application materials arrive on time, the scholarship committee will review applications to determine which students are eligible for a Scholarship or Achievement Grant.  Letters will be mailed to all applicants.  Selected candidates will receive a letter with further institutions.  Students not selected will receive a letter explaining the reason.

19 Selected Candidates  Candidates will be required to submit their college acceptance letter or something comparable showing that they have been admitted into a program and start date.  They will also need to request a final official transcript to be mailed to GEAR UP. This is needed to verify graduation and final GPA.

20 Helpful Websites  GEAR UP Virginia –  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) –  Use this site to complete FAFSA and find out which schools participate in Federal Title IV aid programs.  Federal Student Financial Aid PIN –  Student Aid on the Web (Getting Money for College > Who Gets Aid) –

21 Additional GU Award Resources Available at

22 Contact Information Tierney McAuley, GEAR UP Scholarship Administrator State Council of Higher Education for Virginia 101 N. 14 th Street James Monroe Building, 10 th Fl. Richmond, VA 23219 Ph: (804) 225-2600 Fax: (804) 225-2604 Email: or

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