As a student about to enter college, you should be on the lookout for as many guaranteed scholarships as you are eligible for. Guaranteed scholarships are guaranteed. This means that they do not have an essay or interview process, and there is no competition for them. It means that if you already meet the eligibility requirements, and the scholarship will be awarded to you. Most guaranteed scholarships are available to you if you meet certain GPA requirements, if you’ve scored a certain number or higher on the ACT or SAT, or if you have a parent who is an alumnus.
In Alabama, if you attend Faulkner University or Southern Christian University, you will find numerous guaranteed scholarships in Alabama. At Faulkner, full tuition including room and board is awarded to National Merit Finalists, with full tuition awarded to semifinalists, and $500 scholarships awarded to those who have commended status. Full tuition, room, and board are also awarded to high school Valedictorians and Salutatorians as long as they have also scored at least 26 on the ACT or 1180 on the SAT and have a 3.20 GPA.
If you’ve graduated from a Christian high school, you can receive 25% off of your tuition, and if you were home-schooled and scored at least 20 on the ACT or 950 on the SAT, you will be awarded a guaranteed scholarship of $500 to $1000. If your parent is an alumnus, you will be awarded $500 to $1000. There are also awards for students if they have an older sibling currently enrolled at the school, in amounts ranging from $750 to $1500. Additional scholarship awards ranging from $2500 to $5500 are available for different high scores on the ACT or SAT tests as well. For more information about guaranteed scholarships offered by Faulkner University, visit http://www.faulkner.edu/.
At Southern Christian University, you will be eligible for a guaranteed scholarship if you are an adult student who works. If you are working to complete your undergraduate study, as a working adult, in a short amount of time, you will be awarded $2400 per semester for each semester that you are taking twelve or more semester hours. You will remain eligible as long as you are carrying twelve semester hours until you complete your undergraduate program, but you must be in good academic standing, and remain enrolled in the school. To learn more about the Excel Scholarship available at Southern Christian University, visit http://www.southernchristian.edu/. Also note that Southern Christian University is now called Amridge University.
A new twist of guaranteed college scholarships available in Alabama and other states as well are called the SAGE Scholars Program. It’s a type of Tuition Rewards program. It works this way – students are given student partial scholarships on their tuition based upon the amount of SAGE savings or investments designated in their name. Sage Reward Points can be thought of as frequent flyer miles used for college tuition only which a student earns by investments through a SAGE Financial Planner. The student normally will receive 5% of what his/her family saved through investments with the SAGE Planner. This 5% is a guaranteed discount off the student’s tuition bill. More and more colleges are signing up with SAGE so as to attract more students to their campuses because of this guaranteed scholarship program. The colleges presently participating in these guaranteed scholarships in Alabama (also inquire at the college you will be attending because more colleges are partnering with SAGE) are:
Birmingham Southern College
Spring Hill College
There may be other guaranteed scholarships offered at other schools in Alabama as well. Make sure that you discuss potential guaranteed scholarships with your counselor or financial aid officer, and that you are very aware of any and all application deadlines for those scholarships. Failing to learn about guaranteed scholarships that you are eligible for is like leaving money on the table, and the chances are good that you won’t know about these scholarships if you don’t ask about them because they are the easiest of the easy scholarships to get. Make a list of all of your achievements, tests scores, and anything else that may net you a guaranteed scholarship, and then see what is available to you.