Scholarship Information

December 2018 Scholarship Newsletter

Hello Parents of College-Bound Seniors,

By now, your seniors should have their college applications complete and they should begin looking at the cost and funding of their college education.  If the FAFSA has been completed, your student should be receiving an award letter from the colleges indicated on the FAFSA, indicating the types of financial aid and scholarships they are eligible for.  This will give you the opportunity to compare college expenses at the different schools your student is interested in.

If you have not completed the FAFSA, I would recommend you and your senior do so as soon as possible.  The FAFSA can be completed online at  This will give your senior an opportunity to receive federal and state aid, such as grants, scholarships and other aid types.  If you need help, please feel free to call me at 731-4420 ext. 2107.

Above is the scholarship newsletter for the month of December.  You will notice there are a few local scholarships on this newsletter.  Next month will be the beginning of the official "Scholarship Season".  Your senior can expect to be busy filling out scholarship applications from January through April.  In preparation for this, your senior may want to get a couple of letters of recommendation and begin working on a list of their volunteer experience and achievements.  For letters of recommendation, I would suggest one or two from a teacher(s) and one from somebody outside of school.  This would be a good start for many of the required attachments for our local scholarships.

Please don't hesitate to call me if you have any questions. 

Happy Holidays,

Danica Nowak
Johannesburg-Lewiston High School
731-4420 ext. 2107



Here are some helpful hints for your student when applying for scholarships…

1)      Get applications together early.
2)      Read and follow the instructions carefully.
3)      Personalize the application and essay to fit the scholarship for which you are applying.  Be passionate and work to make your essay stand apart from the other applicants.
4)      Type applications when possible.  If handwritten, be sure to write neatly in ink.
5)      Proofread for grammar and spelling.
6)      Be sure to include any attachments requested such as transcripts, letters of recommendations, copy of college acceptance letter, etc.
7)      Make a copy of your application before mailing.
8)      Give your application plenty of time to arrive to its destination by the deadline.


Apply Now!

Important FAFSA Information
You can access FAFSA online at

Be sure you use the website – there are others out there that try to trick you into paying
to apply for financial aid.  FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid,
so applying should not cost you anything. 




J-L Area Schools



Financial Aid

Here are some helpful hints about completing scholarship applications that I shared with the seniors:

1-  Keep Organized - I would recommend a separate folder just for scholarships.  Order the scholarships in your folder by the date the applications are due.

2-  Ask for three letters of recommendation now so you will have them when you need them.  Almost every scholarship will ask for one or more letters of recommendation.  Some will want one from a teacher and some may ask for one from someone out of school.  If you get 3, you could get 2 from a teacher/coach and 1 from outside of school (employer, family friend, etc.)   You can use the same letters more than once, so make several copies of each letter and keep them in your folder with your scholarship applications. 

3-  Be sure to follow the scholarship's specific application.  If they say to write a 300 word essay, you should make sure your essay is close to 300 words.  If they say to include a resume, be sure to include one.  Scholarships are competitive and the easiest ones to eliminate are the ones who did not follow the instructions.

4-  Consider your audience when completing your application.  If you are applying for a scholarship through VFW, you may include something like speaking at the school's Veterans Day Program.  If you are applying for a scholarship through the Garden Club, mentioning your experience in lawn care and gardening would be more important.  Don't be afraid to give yourself credit where credit is due.  You have done lots of things over the past 4 years, use them to get the scholarship money that is available.

5-  Proofread your essays and other parts of your applications.  Your essay should be top quality, written specifically for that scholarship.  Sometimes you may be able to use pieces of other essays, but always address the topic they want you to write about.  When you have your finished product ready to go, have someone else proofread it and offer suggestions. 

6-  Type as much of the application as possible (unless otherwise instructed).  Scholarship committees read lots of applications and appreciate it when they are typed and easy to read.  It makes your application look more professional and that you put more time into it, meaning that the scholarship is important to you.

7-  If scholarship applications need OFFICIAL transcripts, they should be brought to me to mail in.  I will enclose an official transcript with the application before sending it.  I will be happy to mail other applications for you as well - just bring them in and make it clear if they need any additional things before sending.

8-  Be sure to meet deadlines.  If the applications says it is due by a certain date, you should mail it 3-5 days before that to ensure it is received by the deadline.  Most scholarships will not be accepted late.  If you bring it to me to send, be sure you give it a little extra time in case I am at a meeting or something. (Snow days are a common issue in Feb.!)

If there is anything else I can do to help your student, please let me know. 

Danica Nowak


Any questions, please contact:
Danica Nowak - Guidance Counselor
731-4420 Ext. 2107

Updated 12/3/18
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