The 2023-24 Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is here and ready to be filled out. It’s your first step to qualify for loans and grants. Once you’ve completed your FAFSA, you can apply anytime until Nov. 1 for OTC’s Spring scholarships – that could mean FREE MONEY. Scholarships range from $500 per semester to full ride.
It’s always FAFSA first
Just to be clear, the OTC Scholarship Application is separate from the FAFSA. The OTC Scholarship Application is a single app for you to fill out. With it, you apply for all OTC Institutional scholarships, typically a tuition or fee waiver, and OTC Foundation scholarships from real people and businesses. Don’t think anybody would give you a scholarship? Think again: 92% of all OTC students are eligible for a scholarship.
Here are some things that will be handy to have when you start the application:
- Your finished essay (800 words, max – see below!)
- Volunteer history (if you have one)
- Your OTC GPA (if you already have one)
If you don’t have access to some of those things, don’t worry – just do your best with what you have. The only exception to that rule is the essay!
Finish your essay before you start the app
The essay is that important. We’re not saying you have to be Shakespeare – far from it. You only have room for 800 words, tops. But you would be surprised how frequently people think that writing one or two lines to the effect of ‘I want money’ is good enough. (Spoiler: It’s not.)
But don’t be intimidated. Let’s break this down. In the middle of the application there’s a text box with these instructions:
Please provide a brief essay on how a scholarship will help you achieve your educational goals at Ozarks Technical Community College. Include topics such as your financial needs, future plans and any additional information you would like to include about yourself. Your essay represents your best opportunity to make a compelling explanation for you to receive a competitive scholarship, so consider your submission carefully.
In other words, talk about yourself. Are you out on your own for the first time, or going back to school as an adult while balancing kids and a job? Mention it! It’s not computers assessing these things, it’s real people. Tell them about the things that make you you. It will help!
And if you’d like some eyes on your essay before you hit that “submit” button, be sure to visit the Carol Jones Writing Center.
Time to start!
By now, you know the FAFSA’s a requirement – so get it out of the way ASAP and make your life so much easier. Then file an OTC Scholarship Application! Ready to get started? Click HERE to apply.