Is The Nevada Millennium Scholarship Right For You?

Introduction

The Nevada Millennium Scholarship is a program created to provide financial aid to students in the state of Nevada. It was designed to help students graduating from Nevada high schools to be able to pay for state colleges. In order to receive the Millennium Scholarship you must meet residential and academic requirements. When requirements are met, students are automatically notified of their eligibility by mail and can receive the scholarship funds through enrollment at an eligible Nevada college.

What is the Nevada Millennium Scholarship?

The Nevada Millennium Scholarship provides up to $80 per credit hour of financial aid to eligible students in the state of Nevada. It was created by the Nevada State Legislature in 1999 which put the State Treasurer in charge of the Millennium Scholarship Trust Fund. The Millennium Scholarship Trust Fund was enacted in section 396.911 of the Nevada Revised Statutes to provide the money for the Nevada Millennium Scholarship. The Policy and Procedure guidelines for implementing the Nevada Millennium Scholarship were developed by the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents. Since the creation of the Nevada Millennium Scholarship the state of Nevada has ”seen a significant, positive impact – more than double the number of students are attending” Nevada “colleges and universities since the program began” (Marshall, 2012).

What do You Have to do in High School to be Eligible for the Nevada Millennium Scholarship?

The proper residential and academic requirements must be met to be eligible for the Nevada Millennium Scholarship. Nevada High School Students are only eligible if they graduate with a diploma from a public or private Nevada High school in the year 2000 or later. Students must have at least a 3.25 grade point average to be eligible for the scholarship. This GPA can be weighted or unweighted. Weighted GPA’s are weighted by increasing a student’s score if they are taking advanced classes. To qualify for the Nevada Millennium Scholarship a student must also “pass all areas of the Nevada High School Proficiency Examination,” and have been a resident of Nevada for at least two years of high school. If you are a student graduating in the year 2009 or later, you must also complete the core curriculum (Sandoval & Marshall, 2011).

How Do I Apply for the Nevada Millennium Scholarship?

There is no need to apply for the Nevada Millennium Scholarship. You will be notified with an official award and information packet sent to you by the Office of the Nevada State Treasurer. This packet will describe your scholarship programs terms and conditions . Although there is no application for the Nevada Millennium Scholarship you must enroll in an eligible Nevada College to receive the Millennium Scholarship. It is important to do your own research on colleges in order to determine if they are eligible. If they are there are two additional requirements to receive the scholarship. The first is a minimum credit amount of 6 credits at a Nevada Community College or 12 credits at a different eligible college. The second is “You must enroll in a program of study leading to a recognized associate degree, baccalaureate degree, or pre-baccalaureate certificate” (Sandoval & Marshall, 2011). With these standards met you can use the Nevada Millennium Scholarship to help you pay for college. The University of Nevada is one of the most popular universities that are eligible for the Nevada Millennium Scholarship. At the University of Nevada a student can receive a total of $10,000 towards their education. The University of Nevada recommends using your UNLV student ID for accepting the Millennium Scholarship online to help expedite the process of receiving the award. They even allow students to use the Scholarship to help pay for study abroad programs (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2012).

Conclusion

The Nevada Millennium Scholarship program was created to help fund Nevada student’s higher education. It was designed to help Nevada high school students pay for state colleges. Residential and academic requirements must be met in order to be eligible for the Millennium Scholarship. You will be automatically notified of your eligibility by mail when the requirements are met. You can receive the scholarship funds through enrollment at an eligible Nevada college.

Works Cited

Marshall, K. (2012). The Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship Program. Retrieved Feb 16, 2013, from Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall: https://nevadatreasurer.gov/millenniumscholarship.htm

Sandoval, B., & Marshall, K. (2011, July). Governer Guinn Millennium Scholarship. Retrieved Feb 16, 2013, from NevadaTreasurer.gov: https://nevadatreasurer.gov/documents/millennium/DocFactSheet.pdf

University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (2012). Millennium Scholarship. Retrieved Feb 16, 2013, from UNLV: http://www.unlv.edu/finaid/millennium-scholarship

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Google Lime Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

us dollar on a white backgroundGoogle is known for promoting knowledge and helping the best and brightest get a higher education. Google has now partnered with Lime Connect to provide networking retreats and scholarships to students with disabilities. Students chosen to receive the Google Lime Scholarship will receive $10,000 toward higher education as well as attendance to the Google Scholars’ Retreat in Mountain View, California at the Googleplex. If you are a student with disabilities who is interested in entering computer engineering, computer science, or a related technical field, this scholarship is created just for you.

Qualifications

To be eligible for the Google Lime scholarship, students must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or Canada and must be pursuing a degree in computer engineering, computer science, or a very closely related field. In addition, students must be in the second year of undergraduate school or higher with a very strong academic performance.

Qualified students must also have a visible or invisible disability, such as any long-term or recurring issue that severely impacts the ability to function on a daily basis. Candidates must demonstrate a passion for their chosen degree paths as well as a commitment to the industry in which they desire to work.

How to Apply

In order to apply for the Google Lime Scholarship, go to www.limeconnect.com and apply online before February 18. In addition, students who are not a match for this particular scholarship opportunity are encouraged to join the Lime Network for updates on professional development opportunities, fellowships and internships, career opportunities, and further scholarship programs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Link Between Student Success and Financial Aid


We all know how important scholarships and financial aid are to students who cannot afford to pay for college, but can this monetary help also help students to perform better and have a greater chance of success? A study by MDRC is investigating that question as a component of its Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration. The study is investigating six nationwide programs and is not yet complete, but is already showing some results. Early information is showing that students who receive funding that requires certain performance levels for continuance causes students to work harder and to achieve more than those who have no such requirements.

About the Study

The organization tested a program in New York in which students received scholarships without counseling and support. The program included students who needed some developmental education and were from low-income families. The study examined students’ performance and behavior at the time they first received scholarships and over the next two years to see the effect on performance. Money was distributed periodically as students met academic and enrollment standards. One group received $1,300 over two semesters while another group received $3,900 over three semesters and a third set who received no funding at all.

The results showed that more students maintained full-time enrollment while eligible for funds, but the group that had funds coming after the summer semester showed a greater percentage of continued enrollment. Long-term, no group showed an increase in earned credits or enrollment. At one of the schools, however, there was a greater level of achievement because students had access to information regarding support services and counseling in the facility that housed the scholarships.

Early Findings

While the study is still in its infancy, early results show that the availability of support and counseling may play a dramatic part in the level of student success. While the scholarships themselves did not appear to make a lasting difference, this could be due to a number of factors. The scholarship amounts may have been too small to significantly help low-income students. College costs and personal responsibilities, such as work and childcare, may have also played a part in the results.

College costs must be considered in trying to increase completion and access rates, but these early results show that providing funding alone may not be enough. In addition, schools must make counseling and other support services available, especially to low-income students who face many more struggles.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Take Your Scholarship Essay from Drab to Fab


The current job market makes it more important than ever to have a college degree. Unfortunately, the rising cost of getting a degree is making it more difficult for a large number of people. Scholarships can help ease the financial burden of pursuing higher education, so many students start applying for scholarship funds as soon as possible. As such, there is very stiff competition for most scholarships, especially those that offer a large amount of money. How can you make your application stand out in the eyes of the committee? Many times, the majority of applicants have very similar goals, activities, experience, and grades. The only way to set yourself apart from the crowd is to present an amazing essay. Your essay lets the scholarship committee know who you are as a person and helps them to see why you deserve the award. What if you aren’t a stellar writer? With these four simple tips, even the most challenged writer can create an astounding essay:

Plan Well Ahead of Time

Start researching and planning your essay at least a week before the time you would normally start. Giving yourself this extra time will allow you to create an outline, which will make it easier for you to stay on topic and to present all the information you wish to provide in a clear, concise manner. Try to develop between two and three major points in response to the essay topic. Turn each point into a paragraph by developing an introduction, a conclusion, and two or three details that support your point. This will provide the majority of the structure of your essay, making it much easier to write and much more impressive to read.

Relate to Your Audience

It is important to personalize your essays to fit individual scholarships. Look at each scholarship application closely to see what the organization is looking for in a candidate. Also research the gifting organization to see its mission and values so you will know what tone to take. Find out what qualities they prize most in an applicant and make sure to provide information on how you embody those qualities. An essay that is drafted specifically for each scholarship audience will get much more notice than the generic essays submitted by many applicants.

Be Passionate

The whole point of a scholarship essay is to convince the provider that you are the ideal candidate for the funding. Make sure every answer you provide utilizes examples of personal experience and details that show that you truly care about the topic. When you list volunteer and other experience, make sure to describe important experience you had and/or how the experience shaped you into the person you have become. These details will show that you are passionate about your goals and that you are a deserving student.

Get Edited

When you have completed your essay, have a parent, teacher, or other person who is skilled at grammar and writing to look it over for you. Even if you are a great writer, it is easy to overlook your own spelling and grammar mistakes. Just a few minutes of proofreading by someone you trust can allow you to correct mistakes and to take your essay to the next level of excellence.

Scholarship essay can be a major pain. By starting early, doing your research, showing your true self, and getting a second opinion, you can take your essay from drab to fab and can greatly increase your chances of landing some great scholarships.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

10 Tips to Maximizing Financial Aid

college fundPaying for college education is a major concern for many families. With the sticker price of many of the best private universities exceeding $200,000 for a four-year program, financial aid is more important than ever for many students to make their dreams come true. In order to get federal financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Colleges use this form to determine the amount of financial aid students will receive each year. Many FAFSA deadlines are around the middle of February, and many programs are on a first-come, first-served basis, so this is the time to submit forms for the best awards. Here are 10 valuable tips from experts to ensure that you get the maximum financial aid award:

File as Early as Possible

By submitting your form as soon as possible after the first of the year, you have a better chance of getting the most aid. Illinois, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Washington, and Vermont all have financial aid programs that are awarded first-come, first-served, so waiting too long can cost you valuable financial aid dollars. While it is easiest to file your income taxes first, this is not a requirement. You can estimate your income and taxes paid and update the application once taxes are filed. The IRS data retrieval tool makes this easy, as it imports your information directly into the FAFSA. In addition, check with your school to see if the CSS Profile is required so you can submit it by the deadline.

Leave Nothing Blank

Mistakes or missing information can delay processing and cause you to miss out on award money. Instead of leaving blanks, put a zero in any field that does not apply to you. The online FAFSA will let you know if any fields have been left open improperly.

File Even If You Think You Aren’t Eligible

It is nearly impossible to predict how much financial aid you will receive. According to Finaid.org, however, families earning as much as $180,000 a year will probably qualify for some sort of assistance. Even if your income is higher than that, you should apply because not applying for the first year will often disqualify you from applying in later years. In addition, you must complete a FAFSA to qualify for federal student loans.

Take Money Out of the Child’s Accounts

The formulas used to determine financial aid count 20% of a student’s assets, but only 5.64% of the parents’ assets. As such, accounts in a student’s name should be moved into a 529 savings account to exclude it from consideration as the child’s asset. Money in a parent-controlled 529 account will be counted at the lower rate. Another option is to use the child’s savings to pay for the freshman year, which will remove it as a limiting factor in following years.

Spend Down

Parents who have a great deal of savings can spend that money down before filing the FAFSA. Using the savings to pay off credit cards, prepay mortgage payments, or purchasing big-ticket items that are needed will help the family’s overall financial state and will also make the student eligible for more aid. Remember, however, that you do not need to spend it all. The FAFSA formula provides a shelter for around $50,000 in assets from inclusion in the Expected Family Contribution amount. Protected asset amounts vary depending upon the age of the parents.

Explain Special Circumstances with a Supplementary Letter

The FAFSA asks many questions, but does not allow families to enter explanations of special circumstances. This can be a problem for families who have suffered massive medical bills, loss of a job, or other changes. If your family has experienced such problems, send in a supplementary letter that will explain the details of your particular situation. This will allow colleges to consider all the facts when awarding financial aid. According to College Confidential, this can make a major difference for students in need, just be prepared to provide documentation to prove all of your claims.

Appeal Disappointing Offers

If you have had a drastic change in your financial situation, or have received vastly different offers from other schools, feel free to make an appointment to appeal the package offer. During the meeting, be polite and thankful for what has been offered, but also provide evidence of why your student should receive more. You may present offers from other schools, documentation of changes in financial status, or proof of your student’s achievements. While not all appeals will be successful, you never know until you try.

Prepare for Different Offers

While many schools claim to meet 100% of students’ financial need, awards vary greatly, even among similar universities. Most offer a mixture of grants, loans, and work-study funds, so make sure you fully understanding how much aid is a gift and how much has to be repaid when making comparisons.

Limit Capital Gains

Capital gains are treated as income when calculating financial aid. As such, cash in on securities before the end of your child’s junior high school year. Put that money in a 401k or IRA, which is not considered in FAFSA calculations.

Don’t Be Tempted to Cheat

Though you may be tempted to lie about your assets and income to get more aid, this is considered fraud and comes with hefty fines, possible prison time, and loss of any financial aid awards. The Department of Education and the IRS have worked to make it easier than ever for schools to detect fraud on applications. Stick with legal steps like spending down and transferring assets to retirement accounts.

College is one of the major investments of many people. Financial aid can make college much more affordable. Make sure to follow these 10 tips to ensure that you get the maximum financial aid award.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5 Easy Ways to Get Help With the FAFSA

angled calculator

It is time to fill out the FAFSA for the 2013-2014 school year. While this is routine for many students at this point, it can be quite intimidating to new students and their parents. The form requires answers to 130 questions involving everything from dependency status to income and assets and is required in order to receive financial aid. If you feel stuck trying to complete the FAFSA, there are many places where you can get help if you need it. Try these sources of assistance to make the FAFSA less confusing:

  • FAFSA Website – While you are filling out your FAFSA online, you can click the button for live help at any time if you have  uestions or are stuck on a section. In addition, the federal government provides free help via the FAFSA hotline, which you can call at (800)433-3243 at any time.
  • IRS – Nervous about entering the correct tax information into the FAFSA? The IRS has made it effortless with the data retrieval tool. This tool allows you to transfer your federal tax information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA with only a few clicks. This service is available starting February 3.
  • FAFSA Worksheet – You can make completing the FAFSA easier than ever by organizing your information ahead of time. The FAFSA website offers a worksheet that allows you to see the questions on the form ahead of time so you can get the answers ready.
  • TuitionCoach – This excellent website has an abundance of tools, including calculators and videos, to make it easier than ever to fill out the FAFSA. The tools are free and can help you easily determine college costs and more. You must register to use these resources.
  • College Goal Sunday – There are many free events across the country on weekends throughout January and February. Look for these events to get the help you need in completing and submitting your FAFSA easily.

Although it can seem difficult to fill out the FAFSA, these great, free tools can make the process painless and will have your documents in order before you know it. Remember, there are so many free sources of help available that you should never have to pay for assistance. After all, you have enough expenses involved in paying for education, getting the help you need shouldn’t add to the list.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New York Moving to Give Financial Aid to Illegal Immigrants

Kozzi-beautiful-woman-texting-294 X 441After over two years of pressure by immigrant advocates, the New York State Assembly is now supporting a bill that would make college financial aid available to illegal immigrants. This new bill would make many state tuition-assistant programs open to illegal immigrants and would also create a private fund to provide scholarships to illegal immigrants for college and university attendance.

Basics of the Legislation

Many of the elements included in this new legislation have previously been introduced into the Assembly in bits and pieces, but never made it into the law. As the measures continuously failed, immigrant advocates poured more effort into campaigns for a comprehensive, streamlined policy that promotes one measure with several facets. Democrats introduced the bill as increased national efforts are focused on immigration.

As President Obama promises to overhaul the national immigration system, Democratic lawmakers in New York have stated that they fully support this state education bill. State Senate Republicans and the Governor, however, have not made a public statement about support.

Sheldon Silver, Assembly speaker, states that this is the time to take a strong stance in favor of providing education help to illegal immigrants. He feels that many of the immigrants who will benefit were moved to this country as young children and have been raised as Americans. He also believes that when New York makes a move, the rest of the country will follow.

The Future

If New York passes this bill, it will become the fourth state to take such measures. The bill will require illegal immigrants to meet requirements for eligibility, such as attendance at a New York high school for at least two years followed by graduation or an equivalency certificate. Students will also be required to have lived with parents while attending high school.

The bill is tentatively called the Dream Act, named after the stalled legislation in federal Congress that will provide a citizenship path to illegal immigrants. Although the name is the same, the New York bill will not provide options for attaining legal status. Chung-Wha Hong, director of the New York Immigration Coalition, states that the bill is of high quality because it includes all important ideas and states clear leadership.

While the bill has strong Democratic support, there is no way to predict how it will be received by the Governor and Republicans. Only time will tell if the bill will be passed into New York State law and how it will impact financial aid for illegal immigrants throughout the rest of the country.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What to Do If Your Financial Aid Package Is a Disappointment


Around this time each year, students complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms and wait for financial aid award packages. What happens if you get very little aid (or none)? Does that mean you have to give up your dreams or depend upon your parents taking a second mortgage? Not at all. Most colleges and universities have a re-evaluation policy that can increase your financial aid package based on your merit, need or a combination of the two.

If Your Finances Have Changed

If your financial aid package is not enough, contact your school’s financial aid office as soon as you can and speak to an administrator. According to a spokesperson for SimpleTuition.com, you may qualify for reconsideration if your family has had a drastic change in finances. This change may include an unexpected move, loss of a job, a cut in pay, a major illness, or more.

Other Ways to Negotiate

Even if there have been no significant changes in your family’s financial situation, you may still qualify for financial aid reconsideration. If the offered financial aid package just isn’t cutting it, explain to financial aid administrators that your child really wants to attend that school, but other schools are offering higher aid packages. Ask if the school will consider matching the offer and be prepared to highlight your child’s recent academic achievements, awards, community service, and other desirable qualities. Be aware, however, that successful comparisons can typically only be made between public schools or private schools, but not a mixture.

How It Works

If your request is considered, you will be required to complete a re-evaluation form. Be sure to include supporting documentation regarding any changes in financial circumstances or recent student achievements. The financial aid office will then consider the new evidence and likely adjust the financial aid package.

While the situation may seem bleak to students who receive too little financial aid in their initial offering, some families have been able to apply for re-evaluation and get considerably more funding to help with the costs of education.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Get Cheated By Financial Aid Scams

It’s that time of year again…the time during which college students of all age seek out financial aid sources to help pay for college. While there are definitely many opportunities available, there are also many scammers that are looking to take advantage of unwary students. The scamming of college students is big business. So big, in fact, that the Motley Fool states that student aid scams bilk more than $100,000 a year from trusting individuals. Here are some of the more common financial aid scams to beware of:

Scholarship Search Fees

According to the official website of federal student aid, students should be very wary of sites that require students to pay for scholarship searches. Although there are some reputable companies that do deliver the results they promise, there are far more that are simply fishing for easy money. These unscrupulous sites use bad business practices such as high-pressure sales to get students and their parents to sign up and pay search fees. This is unnecessary, however, since students can easily conduct their own searches and find scholarships without paying fees to an outside party.

Charges for FAFSA Help

Most college students apply for federal student aid through the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. There are many commercial sites that offer to help students complete the FAFSA for a charge. Students should remember, however, that the first ‘F’ in FAFSA stands for FREE, because that is exactly what the FAFSA is. The official FAFSA site provides a wealth of detailed, easy-to-understand information on completing the form. If it is still difficulty, most schools will help students complete the form at no cost.

Scholarship Application Fees

Trustworthy scholarships organizations require no up-front fee to apply for scholarship money. They also rarely contact students at random through postal mail or e-mail. If you receive any correspondence naming you as a scholarship contest finalist and requesting a fee, you should immediately suspect fraud, according to the California Student Aid Commission. Also skip offers that request personal financial details such as credit card or banking numbers. Many of these requests lead to identity theft or unauthorized charges to your account.

It is a sad but true fact that many people look to make an easy living by scamming college students and their families. As a student, you cannot afford to spend on unnecessary services and expenses. Avoid these common financial aid scams and trust your instincts when seeking college funding. If an opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Low Income Students Can Afford College

bag of moneyA bachelor’s degree is one of the priciest investments young people can make now. So pricey, in fact, that many students from low-income families have to abandon their dreams of a college education and remain stuck in low-paying jobs. Postsecondary Education Opportunity states that nearly 80% of students born into high income families earn bachelor’s degrees, while just over 10% of students from low-income families are able to accomplish the same thing. It is a typically catch-22 situation in which students need the degree to break out of the low-income trap, but can’t afford the degree. Since people who earn a bachelor’s degree can earn almost $1 million more over a lifetime of working, students can’t afford to forego college. The key to breaking out of the low-income trap and earning a college education is to fully understand the costs and financial aid for college. Here are four things these students can do to turn their dreams into a reality:

Look for Free Money

The first step low-income students should take is to seek out and apply for free money. This can include government grants as well as scholarships from colleges and private organizations. The more gift aid a student receives, the lower the out-of-pocket costs of getting an education. Students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid early each year and should also look for scholarships from community organizations, the college financial aid office, businesses, and private organizations. As an added bonus, prestigious scholarships can help students stand out from the crowd after graduation when they are seeking employment.

Students need to be aware of the fact that federal grants are based on financial need and are awarded first-come, first-served. As such, the FAFSA needs to be completed as soon as possible after January 1. You can complete the FAFSA to hold your place in the aid consideration process and later add your financial details after taxes have been filed. The first of the year is also the time to start looking for grant partnerships between outside organizations and schools and to find potential scholarship opportunities.

Take Advantage of Work-Study

Another program, the Federal Work-Study Program, is also based on student financial need. This program allows students to apply for work on campus and to earn a salary that helps cover the cost of college attendance. The amount of aid available through these programs depends upon the number of hours students have to work and will help students cover ongoing expenses throughout the school year. This program is exceptionally convenient for students who have to work while going to college, as jobs are on the same campus as classes.

Use Federal Loans

Federal loans, including Stafford, Perkins, and PLUS loans, provide the best interest rates and are exceptionally forgiving when graduates experience a rough time and need to reduce or suspend payments. Students can also check into schools that offer “no tuition” programs for low-income students. These programs can make what seemed like an impossible dream into a reality for many students. If you receive your financial aid offer and school is still out of reach, talk with financial aid advisors to explain your situation and to see if other options are available to you.

Seek Local Aid

Students may also find help in other areas. Students with dire financial need should reach out to community businesses and organizations for aid. They may also find help through online crowdfunding. Many people have a true desire to help students overcome the odds and succeed in education, so there is more funding available than one might think.

While college may seem to be merely a dream for low-income students, it is achievable if the students are willing to actively seek out and pursue every possible avenue of aid. In these instances, it truly is a matter of wanting it badly enough to do whatever it takes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment