Mark your calendar for October 1, 2017. That’s the first date that students can apply for a scholarship to Rappahannock Community College (RCC). This earlier date gives those who are planning to attend RCC in the 2018-19 academic year four months to fill out the single scholarship application form, which puts them in the running for over 100 awards.
“We changed the date for when we’re opening the scholarship application to coincide with the first day that students can apply for the FAFSA,” said Sarah Pope, RCC’s Dean of College Advancement. FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the way many students begin to pay for college tuition.
With the scholarship and FAFSA applications both opening on October 1, Pope hopes that students will complete both applications, making them eligible for private and public tuition assistance.
“If you think you might attend RCC in the fall of 2018, full-time or part-time, then you definitely should apply for a scholarship. An average scholarship is $1,000, which is significant considering that the full-time tuition at RCC per year is about $4,700. If a student completes the FAFSA and is eligible for federal financial assistance as well, then he or she can combine that with a scholarship to make tuition even more affordable,” says Pope.
For the 2017-18 academic year, the RCC Educational Foundation awarded just under $500,000 in scholarships to over 450 students.
Funds that support the scholarships come from community donors, including local businesses, families, and civic organizations, as well as from events such as the RCC Educational Foundation’s annual Preakness Party fundraiser, which will be held on May 18, 2018, at the historic Ben Lomond home in Essex County.
“Our goal is to assist as many people in our service region as possible to make an RCC education affordable,” says Pope. The RCC service region includes the counties of Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland.
Pope is excited about this year’s scholarship process, noting that students have four months to complete their application (between October 1 and February 16). Students can login in draft form and come back and revisit it. It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
To apply for the scholarships, one must apply to RCC first. Applying to RCC will set the user up with the username and password to complete the scholarship application.
“I encourage everyone to apply!” says Pope.