College-bound students should explore eligibility
WILLISTON -- Students should apply for financial aid, according to Williston State College financial aid director Lynn Haverlock.
Haverlock said in a press release that students need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, as soon as their 2010 taxes are complete. Types of federal financial aid available include the Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, subsidized or unsubsidized student loans, and a federal direct parent loan.
North Dakota has a state grant of $1,200 per year that is also based on the March 15 application deadline and is needs-based.
Haverlock said that there is a misconception that if your income or your parents' income, if you are still dependent on them, are too high, you will not be eligible for a student loan.
"It does not matter how much you, or your parents, make in a year. Unless you are in default on a previous student loan, you can get a loan," she said. "Freshman can receive a loan which is limited to $3,500, and sophomores can get $4,500. They may also borrow additional unsubsidized loans based on dependency status."
These loans can either be subsidized (need-based) or unsubsidized.
"The FAFSA is what we use to determine if the students have financial need or not," Haverlock said. "It should be noted that anyone can get an unsubsidized loan, no matter how their FAFSA comes back."
Another misconception that she would like to quash is that you must be a full-time student to get financial aid.
"In order to receive a student loan, you must be taking at least six credit hours," she said. A full-time load is usually 12 credit hours. She also stated, "the Federal Pell Grant may be offered at less than half-time attendance if the student has eligibility."
To apply for summer financial aid, students must complete a Summer Aid Application in addition to federal aid. This application can be found on the Williston State College Web site, (www.willistonstate.edu), after March 1 of each year.
Scholarships can also provide funding for a students' college education, and Williston State College has many scholarships available through its Foundation, which has awarded up to $1 million in scholarships to date.
"We require students to fill out an application for scholarships and that can be found on the WSC Web site," Haverlock said. Again, the priority deadline for WSC scholarships is March 15.
"Students do not have to apply for admission to the college before they fill out a scholarship application," she said. "But they will want to apply for scholarships even if they may end up not attending WSC at least they would have their application in if they do decide to come here."
There are many scholarships available that are geared to specific students. Anyone who graduates from a Williams County or McKenzie County high school has a $1,000 scholarship to Williston State College waiting for them if they apply.
"And for students with a 2.5 GPA or above, they would be awarded an academic scholarship," Haverlock said. Academic scholarships range in amount from $750 to $5,000, depending on the student's GPA.
The Foundation also offers matching scholarships for various high school scholarships in the area. High school students will want to check with their high school counselors or contact Williston State College for more information on which high school scholarships are eligible for matching funds.
Haverlock understands that financial aid and all the paperwork involved with the application process is confusing for most students and their parents. She encourages those who are planning to attend college and will need some aid to contact her office to set up an appointment.
"We would be more than happy to help potential students find a way to finance their college education," she said.
Library observes Dr. Seuss' birthday
Teachers, volunteers and parents will don the red-and-white striped hat of the Cat in the Hat from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Minot Public Library to celebrate the 13th annual Read Across America event. The event commemorates the birthday of children's author Dr. Seuss, which is officially on March 2.
During Sunday's event, children will take part in reading activities such as Hop on Pop (jumping on bubble wrapping paper) or making a Daisy-Head Mayzie head band. Other activities will be inspired by the Dr. Seuss books.
Volunteers from the Minot Education Association, the Minot Public Library, the Minot Public Schools Foundation and the North Central Reading Council run the event. In past years, 200 to 300 children have attended. Other libraries and schools will hold similar celebrations throughout the country.
N.D. Legislature sets up scholarships
The 2009 State Legislature established two new merit scholarships for North Dakota students. The scholarship application will be available online from March 1 through June 7. The application can be found at (www.dpi.state.nd.us/scholarship).
To be eligible for a scholarship, a student must be a North Dakota resident and graduate from a high school in North Dakota. The academic scholarship requires a student earn a 24 or higher composite score on the ACT. The career and technical education scholarship requires a student earn either a 24 or higher on the ACT or earn three 5's on the WorkKeys Assessments. Students must also meet specified curricular and grade requirements. Students should check with their high school counselor for information relative to course requirements.
The maximum value of the scholarship is $6,000. Payments of $750 per semester, or $1,500 per academic year, will be awarded to students attending specified institutions of higher education in North Dakota.
More information may be obtained by contacting Connie Mittleider, N.D. Department of Public Instruction, at 328-2755.
Community college receives $1.6M grant
Cankdeska Cikana Community College at Spirit Lake Nation at Fort Totten has received a $1.6 million grant from the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Family Assistance to provide resources for training and education to increase the number of health care providers in American Indian communities. Through the "Next Steps Empowerment Model," onsite training and mentoring support will be available at tribal college locations, which will enable eligible tribal members to pursue careers in the health professions.
Project partners will include TrainND-NE of Lake Region State College, Recruit- ment & Retention of American Indians into Nursing program at the University of North Dakota, College of Nursing, Fort Berthold Community College, United Tribes Technical College and Sitting Bull Community College. Additional partners include the North Dakota branch of the U.S. Department of Labor (Office of Apprenticeship), the North Dakota Department of Commerce (Workforce Development Division), and the North Dakota State TANF Agency. Support and guidance to the "Treasured Elders" project has also been provided by the Spirit Lake Elders Advisory Group, the N.D. Department of Human Services (Home & Community-Based Services), and Benson County Social Services.