Miss. Scholars plans financial aid events

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lincoln County’s Mississippi Scholars program is adding moreresources to its already crowded plate with a new informationseries that will provide more ways for students and their parentsto get a leg up on applying to college.

The local scholars chapter is partnering with Mississippi’sEducation Services Foundation – a non-profit organizationspecializing in college planning – to host seven workshops for highschool juniors countywide aimed at disseminating information on thecollege admissions process, tips for taking the ACT, locating andapplying for scholarships and applying for federal financial aid.The small seminars are designed to remove any barriers students andtheir parents face when bombarded with the often-complicatedprocesses involved in college application, said fundraisingchairman David Culpepper.

“If you’ve never been to a college campus, where do you go? Who doyou call? What information do you need?” he explained. “It justmakes things more accessible. It’s a way to connect with parentsand get them involved in the college process.”

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The free sessions for the Class of 2012 will take place on Aug. 23at 8 a.m. at West Lincoln Attendance Center, at 10 a.m. at BogueChitto Attendance Center and at 1:30 p.m. at Brookhaven Academy.The second day of sessions is planed for Oct. 14 at 8 a.m. atBrookhaven High School, at 10 a.m. at Loyd Star Attendance Center,at 1 p.m. at Enterprise Attendance Center and at 3 p.m. at theMississippi School of the Arts.

One matter of particular importance that will be examined at theESF workshops is the FAFSA – Free Application for Federal StudentAid, a wide-ranging document colleges use to determine a student’seligibility for certain grants and student loans. While the currentround of seminars is for the county’s junior class, more FAFSAworkshops are being planned for college-bound seniors in Februaryand March of next year.

More information on ESF can found at the organization’s website atwww.esfweb.com.

With the school year just under way, Mississippi Scholars is notyet in full swing. Officials have met with administrators from thecity and county school districts and the Brookhaven Academyheadmaster to plan this year’s events, and classroom presentationswill begin soon.

The program has a high hill to climb to continue its five-year runof building success. Mississippi Scholars reached new heights atits annual banquet earlier this spring, where a record 96 of the168 participating scholars students shared a combined scholarshipamount of $106,000.

With the help of contributing local businesses and individuals andmost of the state’s four-year colleges, the program has awarded$256,000 in scholarships since it began in 2006.