BY JAMES R. SMITH
If a person has access to the Internet or has a friend or family member that is willing to help, I have included Web Sites for the purpose of researching Scholarships , in order to help those seeking additional funding in order to take college courses or to further their college education.
Seeking Grants and Scholarships takes patience and time so do not despair if one or more places deny your request or application. Keep at it and remember, ‘Hard Work Pays Off.’ Additionally, many grants and scholarships have filing deadlines so one must be diligent in researching and meeting any and all deadlines requested by the school, organization or foundation.
This writer, based on personal experience, suggests the following to anyone interested in achieving a college education on their own:
First, contact the address listed in Footnote 2 for the mentioned Guide, and FAFSA to gain a better understanding about federal student aid.
Second, contact the school(s) that you may be interested in. Ask the Admissions Office for their school catalog and inquire if their school offers college correspondence courses, as most courses require Internet access. Also ask the school(s) about any financial aid or scholarships they may offer. Finally, ask the School about their ‘School Code’ for the purpose of filing a FAFSA. Briefly explain that you will be seeking the Federal Supplemental Opportunity Educational Grant.
Thirdly, once you find a school (s) that you want to enroll in, fill out the FAFSA form and submit it to the address on the application to start the process. In about 7 to 14 days, you will/should receive a Federal Student Aid Personal Identification Number and a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is a document that lists all the information you provided on your FAFSA. Please check the SAR to be sure that the information is correct. This is important, as the SAR will be sent electronically to all the schools listed on the FAFSA. Schools will then use the information on the SAR to calculate the size of your financial aid package.
Remember, the FAFSA has filing deadlines. Not only do you have to meet this deadline, but also the school’s deadlines.
The school(s) that accepts you will send you an Award Letter outlining the types of Financial Awards you are entitled to. This Letter must be signed and returned to the respective school(s) to actually accept the award.
Lastly, after all the research and hard work, enjoy the fruits of your labor by earning your college education.
This writer is and has been researching and preparing a legislative bill that would try to reinstate the Federal Pell Grants to prisoners. Additional information about this will be reported as it becomes available.
1. Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Section
204lll(a)(<n, which states: “that no person incarcerated in a state or federal
correctional facility could receive a Pell Grant,” amended to read: “No basic
grant shall be awarded under this subpart to any individual in any Federal
or State penal institution.” See also. Title I^-Student Assistance, Higher
Education Act of 196% sec 40l(b)(8) (20 U.S.C. I070a(b)(8)).
2. “Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student
3. WEB SITES: Federal Student Aid (ww.federalstudentaid.ed.gov): Broke Scholar (www.brokescholar.com) ; College Board (www.collegeboard.com: College Net (www.collegenet.com): Sallie Mac Scholarship Services (www.salllemae.com); United Negro College Fund (www.uncf.org) ; U.S. Dept, of Veterans Affairs (www.gibill).va.gov (for veterans only) ; Jackie Robinson Foundation
(www.jackierobinson.org) ; Scholarships for Hispanics
(www.scholarshipsforhispanics.com; Fin Aid (www.finaid.com); NAACP Legal
Defense & Educational Fund f www.naacpldf.org; Robert C.Byrd Honors
Scholarship Program (www.ed.gov/programs/idaesbyrd/index.htal)
Author: Mr. Smith is a strong Advocate for the Rights and Equality of All Individuals, whether they are incarcerated or not. He is serving a sentence in excess of 100 years and has dedicated his time to ensuring that individuals are provided with an equal opportunity to obtain an education and in protecting the civil and human rights of all individuals.