APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
The application process is simple and easy. Using the Blackbaud Award Management (formerly AcademicWorks) system, all applicants simply complete a simple one page electronic application. This one application will search the Foundation’s database of scholarships and select scholarships that best fit the needs of the applicant as well as fulfilling the donor’s intention. This one application will also alleviate the need to apply over and over again for different scholarships.
However, in some cases an application may appear that needs some additional information. It is up to the applicant to complete any required questions or essays. Remember that scholarships are a privilege to have and an applicant must take the responsibility seriously.
SCHOLARSHIP STATUS/BLACKBAUD AWARD MGMT
The Blackbaud Award Managment (formerly AcacademicWorks) scholarship program has five status indicators noted. Each status indicator has a distinct meaning:
Drafted – This indicates that an applicant has started the application process however there are parts to the application that remain incomplete. Typically this designation happens when an applicant starts the application process and exits before an application is submitted.
Submitted – This indicates that an applicant has completed and submitted an application for review. Scholarship applications in this status are “pending”. In many cases after the general selection process has been completed in July or August, a “submitted” status indicates that the applicant was not selected and has been assigned to a waiting list.
Offered – This indicates that an applicant has been offered a GCSC Foundation scholarship. In order to receive the scholarship award, an applicant must accept the offer and complete a post-acceptance questionnaire.
Accepted – This indicates that an applicant has officially accepted the scholarship offer and understands the scholarship guidelines. Once a scholarship status has been changed to “accepted”, the applicant becomes a scholarship recipient. Also the status change will start the process of transferring the scholarship award from the GCSC Foundation to the GCSC Financial Aid Office.
Declined – This indicates that an applicant has officially declined the scholarship offer.
SCHOLARSHIP SELECTION PROCESS
The scholarship selection process takes approximately four to eight weeks after a scholarship application deadline. The Foundation’s goal is to find and provide one “general” scholarship to each deserving student who has been selected by the Foundation’s scholarship scoring committee. This is because we have more demand for our scholarships than supply.
A scholarship application review and scoring committee consisting of GCSC faculty and staff will review over 800 scholarship applications. The committee will assign a score and rank each application.
Once the rankings are complete, the Foundation staff will begin the task of finding scholarships that best suit both the donor’s intent, as well as, the student’s needs. REMEMBER a scholarship award is not FINAL until two things happen-1) an award amount has been established for that scholarship and 2) an award letter has been sent to the recipient.
Please be patient through the process. Scholarship awards should be finalized by June and award letters should be sent electronically in July. It is up to the applicant to regularly check for updates by logging in to his/her scholarship application.
Once an applicant has been selected for a scholarship by the scoring committee, the Foundation will issue an “offer” to the applicant. Please note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to “accept” or “decline” the scholarship offer. The Foundation will not processing a scholarship that is in the “offered” status.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD AMOUNTS
Foundation scholarship award amounts are determined each year by the Foundation Board of Directors. Please plan accordingly since the scholarship payouts may vary from year to year. When a scholarship offer is made the award amount is presented. Scholarship awards are usually ‘supplemental’ in nature and not intended to cover all of a student’s educational expenses.
All Foundation scholarships which provide support for the students at Gulf Coast State College are processed through the Gulf Coast State College’s financial aid office. All disbursements will follow the policies and procedures set by GCSC and may be subject to change. Scholarship awards and balances may be viewed inside a student’s myGCSC (Lighthouse) account. Please note-there are some scholarships (i.e. book vouchers etc.) that are processed through the College’s business affairs office.
The Foundation will electronically send a recipient’s scholarship award to the GCSC Financial Aid Office. Annual scholarship awards should be available for use by mid to late July. All distributions will normally coincide with the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Awards that are processed outside of the Foundation’s normal window, will usually take 5 to 10 business days to process.
Typically a scholarship award is first deducted from a student’s tuition bill. The student is responsible for any amount due to the College. If any award amount remains, the balance can be used at the GCSC Bookstore. Most financial aid that remains after drop and add, is sent to the student by the College’s financial aid office. Please contact the financial aid office for details.
Once an award amount has been established, the Foundation payout procedure is as follows:
12 or more credit hours ……100% of scholarship award
9 to 11 credit hours…..75% of total scholarship award
6 to 8 credit hours…….50% of total scholarship award
0 to 5 credit hours…….0% of total scholarship award
SCHOLARSHIP USAGE AND PORTABLILITY
The Foundation has adopted a ‘use it or lose it’ policy on scholarship usage. Unused scholarship awards cannot be rolled over from one semester to another. This policy also applies to students who have elected to postpone or delay their registration from the fall to the spring. Scholarship awards will not be transferred to any summer session.
Most Foundation scholarships are not transferrable to another institution. In order to take full advantage of a Foundation scholarship, the recipient must be enrolled and taking classes at GCSC. There are some limited exceptions with regard to a few Foundation Community or Organizational Scholarships (Donor Select) that the Foundation administers. All recipients receiving an approved transferrable scholarship will be notified in advance.
For more information on scholarship administration and workshops, please contact Dunkin McLane, Assistant Director at (850) 872-3810 / [email protected] or Kara Gray, Foundation Assistant (850) 872-3862/ [email protected].