Important Updates from


September 2016 Issue 30
Scholarship Tips
  • Scholarships aren’t just for jocks or smarty-pants.
  • Start early & keep looking. One day isn’t enough.
  • Follow the directions and meet deadlines.
  • Apply each and every year.
  • DON’T PAY ANYONE to help you find free money!
Beyond Financial Aid is a toolkit designed to help two- and four-year institutions close attainment gaps for low-income students. It expands the concept of "financial supports" for college beyond grants, scholarships and loans and describes six college-tested strategies for helping low-income students overcome the significant challenges created by limited resources.
We are here to help!
Need help loading your scholarship? Interested in a demo of new features? Email us or call 888-535-0747 (#8).
Welcome to a new scholarship season!
A vibrant future depends on our ability to increase the number of students getting to and through college. We cannot accomplish this without better supporting low-income students and those underrepresented in higher education. Thank you Scholarship Providers! You provide an important and powerful tool that can be leveraged for better student outcomes.

Last academic year, 132 scholarship providers listed over 6,600 awards totaling more than $55 million in scholarships on With more than 280,000 registered seekers, list your scholarships now to get the most competitive applicants. staff are in the process of renewing all scholarships for returning providers. Justlog in to your account on and verify that the listing is accurate or c862606c-0b9e-436f-891e-3f7dee62eebf.jpgmake any necessary updates to deadlines and award amounts. You can activate your scholarship(s), which makes it public and viewable to students, whenever you are ready.

Questions? Email us or call 888-535-0747 (#8).

Study on Performance-Based Scholarships
A new study conducted by MDRC shows how scholarship programs can be structured to encourage low-income students to attend college and to persist once they get there.

The evaluation tested whether performance-based scholarships would increase college enrollment, persistence, and progress among low-income students. The results showed:

  • Performance-based scholarships boost college enrollment across many demographic groups. Overall, students awarded performance-based scholarships were 5 percentage points more likely to matriculate in college compared with the students that did not receive a scholarship.
  • The impact is even greater for students with lower GPAs. Students with GPAs below 3.0 who were awarded these scholarships enrolled at significantly higher rates (8 percentage points) than students who were not. This suggests that the scholarships may have incentivized students to enroll who might otherwise not have seen themselves as "college-going material."
  • Scholarships can make the difference for low-income students "on the fence" who might not have otherwise enrolled in college. This confirms what other studies have shown: that low-income and first-generation students want to go to college and will do so given the opportunity.
  • There are small but significant effects on persistence. Students who received performance-based scholarships had slightly higher rates of year-to-year persistence (2.4 percentage points) than students who received no performance-based scholarships.
  • The flexibility of the scholarships is an important factor for students.
FAFSA is Now Filed Earlier

In 2015, President Obama announced significant changes to the FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid) process that will impact millions of students. Starting this year, students will be able to do the following:

  • Submit a FAFSA earlier: Students will be able to file a 2017-18 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017.
  • Use Earlier Income Information: Students will report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017-18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.

Over the next several years, the simpler FAFSA filing process could encourage hundreds of thousands of additional students to apply for and claim the aid they are eligible for – and enroll in college.

To help more students and families benefit from the easier, earlier FAFSA application timeline, scholarship providers may want to consider aligning private scholarship deadlines with the earlier FAFSA application cycle.

Take 5 to Update 5
Students returning to need to update their profile regularly in order to get the best scholarship matches. The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time for students to review their profile.

Encourage your students to take five minutes to update these five criteria:

Forward to a Colleague About Us Resources
Washington Student Achievement Council, 917 Lakeridge Way SW, P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504
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