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CollegeCounts Scholarship

College can be the best time of your life. But paying for college isn’t easy. In fact, the cost of college can make some students afraid to even try. That’s why we created the CollegeCounts Scholarship: to provide funding assistance to Alabama high school students who demonstrate a financial need and a genuine desire to make a difference in what’s next. If you’re thinking about enrolling at an Alabama college or university, don’t let funds get in the way. The CollegeCounts Scholarship might just be for you!

Eligibility

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for this scholarship:

  • Be a high school senior or first-time college freshman beginning in fall 2017
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be an Alabama resident
  • Planning to enroll in an Alabama eligible educational institution in fall 2017
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Have an ACT score of 26 or below
    (applicants attending a two-year school will not be required to submit ACT scores)

Award Details

Awards of $4,000 for four-year college enrollees and $2,000 for two-year college enrollees.

Award is one-time, non-renewable and granted on a semester basis in the first academic year.

Application Period

Opens – December 1, 2016 – 12:01am/CST

Closes – March 1, 2017 – 11:59pm/CST

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT ARE THE DETAILS OF THE AWARD?

  • Annual award amounts of $4,000 for four-year college enrollees and $2,000 for two-year college enrollees.
  • Scholarships are determined through an application process.
  • Colleges must be accredited, nonprofit two or four-year colleges/universities in the state of Alabama.
  • The award is non-renewable and will be granted for the fall and spring semesters of the recipient’s freshman year.
  • These scholarships must to be applied to tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for course load, including computers.  Funds can also be applied to on-campus room and board expense or off-campus housing if enrolled at least half-time and billed through the school.  Other qualifications for covered room and board expense must follow the “Qualified Education Expenses” guidelines found on the IRS 529 website: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch08.html.

WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PERIOD?

The online application opens at 12:01 AM CST on December 1, 2016 and will close at 11:59 PM CST on March 1, 2017. Mark your calendar!

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY APPLICATION IS COMPLETE?

While going through the application process, you will create your own account that will allow you to monitor the status of your application through completion.

WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES IF I AM CHOSEN AS A RECIPIENT?

  • You must be enrolled as an undergraduate in the fall of the year in which the scholarships are awarded.
  • You must continue in school the entire academic year without interruption to receive the full award, unless approved by scholarship sponsor.
  • All students receiving a scholarship from the program must utilize their scholarship during the first and second semester in the same academic year from the date their scholarship is awarded.

HOW AND WHEN WILL I RECEIVE NOTIFICATION?

  • Notifications will be sent to award recipients as well as applicants not selected to receive an award via email by the end of April. For award recipients, an Acceptance link will be displayed on the home page following the notification.
  • Notifications will be sent by email.
  • Add CollegeCounts@applyists.com to your email address book or “safe senders list” to ensure these important emails are not sent to your junk mail folder.

HOW AND WHEN ARE AWARDS ISSUED?

  • Payment of awards will be mailed to your accepted institution for credit to your account.
  • Payments will be made payable to the institution only and issued in the fall and spring of your freshman year.

HOW ARE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS DETERMINED?

The CollegeCounts Board of Directors has established a selection process based upon criteria that can be objectively measured, which includes, in priority order, financial need, ACT score (for four-year school applicants), high school GPA, work/activities, service and honors/awards.

AM I REQUIRED TO HAVE A COLLEGECOUNTS 529 SAVINGS ACCOUNT TO APPLY FOR THIS SCHOLARSHIP?

No, you are not.

I AM A HOME-SCHOOLED STUDENT. CAN I APPLY?

You sure can.

WHO IS THE SPONSOR OF THE COLLEGECOUNTS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM?

The CollegeCounts Board of Directors is the sponsor of the CollegeCounts Scholarship Program, and the Alabama State Treasurer is delegated the administrative responsibilities of the program. CollegeCounts is the marketing name for the Alabama College Education Savings Program created by Alabama law (Code of Alabama, as amended, §16-33C-10, et.al.). All promotional and marketing materials for the CollegeCounts Scholarship Program will utilize the name CollegeCounts in describing the savings program, the scholarship program, and the board.

WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THE SCHOLARSHIP MONEY?

There are two primary funding sources for Alabama’s CollegeCounts 529 Scholarship Program.

  • Administrative Fees
    “CollegeCounts 529 Fund” is the marketing name for what is actually known as the ACES Trust Fund under Alabama law. The ACES Trust Fund is part of the ACES Program, which was established as a college savings alternative that allows contributors to open savings accounts to pay for a beneficiary’s qualified educational expenses at an eligible institution of higher education. These savings accounts can be sold directly to individuals or sold to individuals by financial advisors. The ACES Trust Fund receives a 0.10% administrative fee each year from the assets held in the advisor-sold program.
  • AHELC Surplus Funds
    The Alabama Higher Education Loan Corporation (AHELC) was established to provide student loans to Alabamians. After a long period of inactivity, AHELC was revived, only to see its business model abolished by the U.S. Congress. As a result, the AHELC Board of Directors chose to cease operations, dissolve the nonprofit corporation, and grant the existing surplus to help fund Alabama’s CollegeCounts Scholarship Program. This decision was made in accordance with AHELC’s founding purpose of funding higher education student aid.

 

APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP

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