All Articles Tagged "scholarships"
When you read stories like this, you just have to feel good.
Meet Drew Gooch, a Holloway High School senior in Murfreesboro, TN who is on his way to college after very rough beginnings.
As told to the Daily Journal, Gooch says he’s basically been homeless and living on his own since last spring when he moved out of his mother’s home. He doesn’t go into details but other outlets report that his mother’s live-in boyfriend is a registered sex offender and since he is a minor, Gooch could not stay there. When he moved, he mostly stayed at his sister’s house at night or with friends; however, if he couldn’t stay with them, he slept in his 1997 Toyota Camry behind a hotel.
He attended two school and took online home school classes while working at McDonald’s before ending up at Holloway High in December 2012. When he went to register, the school principal realized that despite everything that was going on, he mostly maintained an A average.
Once admitted, he took all advanced honors classes. Holloway is also a school that allows its students to graduate early so at age 17, Gooch is doing just that. By the way, he’s graduating with a 3.9 GPA and is this year’s valedictorian.
He will be attending Middle Tennessee State University in the fall…and won’t have to pay for a thing. He has received a scholarships from The Bootstraps Foundation, Tennessee’s HOPE and Dream scholarship fund and from the local Martin Luther King, Jr scholarship fund.
It should be noted that Gooch is no longer homeless; he now lives in Smyrna, TN.
Gooch says that it was Holloway that chose him, not the other way around. He didn’t have his parents around as positive figures in his life so he used his educational figures as his role models. Many of his high school teachers met Gooch at school before classes start to help him get up to speed in his advanced honors classes.
So what does Drew Gooch say about his life so far? He knows he’s faced challenges but isn’t letting that stop him and encourages others to be strong:
“I’d like to say I’m mature and rational, realistic. But I’ve been forced to grow up fast. I don’t have the childhood that most of my peers have.
“Take what life gives you. Don’t give up. Don’t sell yourself short. The only person who can decide who you can be is you,” Gooch said. “That’s what I tell myself when I look in the mirror every morning.”
What a story! Drew Gooch is to be commended for his commitment to hard work and dedication to his education. We wish him all the best as he majors in pre-law and minors in business at Middle Tennessee State.
Keep saving for Ashley and Derrick’s college fund because it’s the most important thing you can do for them. Although white Americans may complain that it’s hard for them to receive scholarship funding, they still take the majority of money available. According to an interview between NPR’s Michel Martin and Mark Kantrowitz, author of the book, “Secrets to Winning a Scholarship” and publisher of Fastweb.com, the free scholarship matching service, whites receive 72% of scholarship awards while minority students only receive 28%.
Kantrowitz details some of the myths of scholarship hunting and additional tips and facts during his discussion with Martin. First things first: the competition is stiff for receiving grants all around. Kantrowitz reports that “less than 3/10ths of a percent of undergraduate students pursuing bachelor’s degrees have won enough money to cover their complete tuition.” In addition, only one in 10 students earn scholarships from the private sector. This means that most students will look to money from federal and state grants, and money from the college they plan to attend. Depending on the company a parent works for, students may also look forward to receiving employer tuition assistance.
The reason why Caucasian students are more likely to receive funding is because scholarship providers are individuals who often support students with their shared interests. Kantrowitz gives the example of a scholarship offered for students involved in equestrian sports. There’s no deliberate discrimination, but chances are white students are more likely to be involved in this type of activity.
Minority students are more likely to receive Pell Grants, which are based on applicant income and assets. As minority students sometimes come from families with lower income, they have a 38% chance of securing this award, compared to 20% for their Caucasian counterparts. The percentage jumps a little higher for African Americans students.
It all goes back to the importance of saving, says Krantrowitz. He dispels the myth that saving could actually hurt scholarship chances; however, Krantrowitz does say that you can be “penalized for up to 5.64 percent,” but it also allows for greater flexibility when searching for colleges.
Though the odds may look uneven and a bit daunting, the more scholarships you apply to the better. It’s also good to keep education tax benefits such as the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit in mind. You can claim it by following your federal income tax return.
(Smart Money) — For students not yet enrolled, the financial math behind choosing a college has radically changed. Here are the new steps students and their parents can take to get more free aid. 1) Apply ASAP: Officially, students have a long time to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In practice, students have typically had until June to get a shot at state grants. Not anymore. Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee have already announced that FAFSAs should be submitted immediately, and they will dole out grants in the order of applications received, until the money’s gone. In a break with the traditional trends, families should no longer wait until their tax returns are ready to file the FAFSA, says Mark Kantrowitz, founder of FinAid.org, which tracks financial aid trends. Just get it in ASAP, with estimates using a W-2 and 1099 forms and the last pay stub of the year, and update the actual numbers once they’re ready. This way, the FAFSA is filed on time while grant money is still up for grabs.
(AJC) — The legislative session has just begun and Georgia’s college students already feel like the designated losers. Lawmakers propose cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from the higher education budget for this fiscal year and the next. They’re revamping HOPE, the popular scholarship program that for years has covered tuition if high-achieving students attend a Georgia public college.
(New York Times) — Students here at the University of Georgia have a name for some of the fancy cars parked in the lots around campus. They call them Hopemobiles. But there may soon be fewer of them. The cars are gifts from parents who find themselves with extra cash because their children decided to take advantage of a cherished state perk — the Hope scholarship. The largest merit-based college scholarship program in the United States it offers any Georgia high school student with a B-average four years of free college tuition.
(AJC) — One sure bet this legislative session: Changes are coming that will affect the bottom line for participants in the popular lottery-funded HOPE and pre-kindergarten programs. Lawmakers have been warned that the programs — collectively serving about 200,000 college students and about 82,000 preschoolers — have to be scaled back, given forecasts of a $320 million deficit in lottery money to cover the programs’ expenses for fiscal year 2012. A variety of potential changes have been suggested — including raising the GPA requirement for HOPE eligibility. The ideas tossed around for pre-k include making it income-based or charging an annual fee of $500 to $1,000 a year. The program is currently free and open to all 4-year-olds.
(AJC) — Georgia students and their families can expect to spend more of their own money on college now that lawmakers and Gov.-elect Nathan Deal have put dramatic changes to the HOPE scholarship on the table. Suggestions include decreasing the scholarship’s amount, raising the minimum grade-point average from a 3.0 to a 3.2 and eliminating remedial classes from what’s covered, said Rep. Len Walker, R-Loganville, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee. Deal said last week that the intent is to “salvage the program.” Walker expects to have formal recommendations by Jan. 1.
(Dallas Morning News) — The scholarship funds repaid by U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson will help needy Texas students at historically black colleges, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation said Wednesday. Meanwhile, a Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport executive remained on leave pending an inquiry into a $1,000 scholarship Johnson awarded his daughter, given that the Dallas Democrat is part-owner of two airport newsstands. And Johnson remained defiant, telling Democratic activists during a recent campaign stop that she will survive efforts to drive her from office, which would leave North Texas without Democratic representation in Congress.
(WFAA-TV) — There are new accusations involving Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) and her handling of scholarship money that was supposed to go to needy students in her district…Questions are now being asked about whether Johnson used those scholarships to gain favor at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where she is part owner of some businesses. The revelations may cost Don O’Bannon his job. O’Bannon is in charge of making sure that small minority business owners are getting a fair shake at the 225 food and retail opportunities at the airport.
(Black Enterprise) — Yesterday I had the opportunity to appear on WEAA 88.9 FM’sWealthy Lifestyle Radio with financial coach Deborah Owens. Though the segment was based on a story I’d written aboutmicroloans, Owens and I got into an interesting discussion about developing a college aid strategy. Often, many of us go online, subscribe to Fastweb, Princeton Review, and a couple of other sites as a source for scholarships, but it pays to be strategic with how you look for financing. Check out these key tips: