College Resources accepting scholarship applications until June 15
College Resources Center staff Jennifer Pigeon, left, Manager Chrissy Marsh and Executive Director Ron Etheridge discuss the upcoming rush of applicants for Cherokee Nation scholarships. The application period for most scholarships will remain open until mid-June. D. SEAN ROWLEY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizens planning to attend college during the 2019-20 academic year can now complete and submit CN scholarship applications online.
The application period began March 1 and continues to June 15. However, applications for the valedictorian and salutatorian scholarship must be received by March 29.
CN scholarships include the undergraduate, graduate, concurrent enrollment, valedictorian and salutatorian, and Directed Studies scholarships. A completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid should be submitted.
“It is most important that applicants remember to fill out their FAFSA forms,” College Resources Manager Chrissy Marsh said. “Also, we do most of our communication by email, so applicants need to be aware of their emails and what they are getting from us. We are here to help them, so if they have any questions, they should feel free to call us.”
Scholarship applications and submission forms can be done online. However, the work must be completed in one sitting. A scholarship application cannot be “saved” and revisited later.
“Any required documentation will be uploaded with the application,” Marsh said. “They need to have all documentation while they are doing that and ready to upload so they will be ready to submit. We still have to verify addresses, tribal membership numbers, birth dates, and make sure all of that information is correct.”
Education Services Executive Director Ron Etheridge said thousands of Cherokees receive scholarships each year and that applications are reviewed in the order received.
“(Marsh) has four advisers, and they all work the alphabet divided among the four,” Etheridge said. “They each review about 1,250 students. They take care of the first orders first. We take care of them in the order they come in.”
Etheridge said applicants in other time zones should be mindful that the deadlines expire one minute before midnight Central Standard Time.
Students without access to a computer can use a terminal and consult with staff by visiting Education Services in the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex at 17675 S. Muskogee Ave. High school students can also check their respective school calendars or call the College Resources to see if the office will visit their campuses.
“Students can come by our office and scan their documents,” Jennifer Pigeon of College Resources said. “We have scanners, printers, and they can ask us for help. We also travel to the high schools, where we are invited, and we will bring a laptop, printer and scanner, and we can set up a mobile office for them to apply.”
College Resources staff say the most common mistake by applicants is failure to submit all necessary forms, particularly the FAFSA.
For the fall semester, undergraduate applicants must submit a Student Aid Report, and new applicants need their most recent high school, GED or college transcripts. Graduate applicants need their most recent college transcript and a graduate program acceptance letter.
High school students seeking concurrent enrollment awards must submit their most recent transcripts, college class schedules and approval letters from a parent and school counselor. Those applying for the valedictorian and salutatorian scholarship need approval letters from a parent and counselor, and a completed W-9 form, available as a download on the College Resources site.
CN scholarships are $2,000 per semester. The scholarships are intended for full-time students, and recipients who complete less than 12 hours of coursework will have their awards reduced to $1,000 for the following semester. Those who do not complete at least six hours cannot receive an award the next semester.
Scholarship recipients are also expected to perform volunteer service within their communities, based on award size. A $2,000 scholarship requires 20 hours of service, while a $1,000 requires 10 hours. Funding can be affected if volunteer hours are not completed.
Applications are available at scholarships.cherokee.org
College Resources also offers the new Stole Program, which is given to CN citizens completing a degree of any level who have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Students graduating from high school, proprietary schools or a vocational program are not eligible. Mailing deadline is April 30 for spring graduates. Required documents include a scholarship application, the most recent academic transcript, and a letter from a school official that includes the student’s name, degree type, major and commencement date. A stole can be awarded to a student with each degree attained, and can be worn during the graduation ceremony.
For information about all CN scholarships, call 1-800-256-0671, ext. 5465, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.cherokee.org/Services/Education/College-Resources