Before you get to college, this is one test you'll want to pass: knowing about and applying for all the sources of financial aid available to you.
We can help. The Colorado Mountain College financial aid office is well-versed in assisting new college students to navigate through the financial aid process. First, they'll help you understand the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which determines whether you qualify for federal scholarships, grants and loans.
Once you've completed the FAFSA, you can look for private scholarships locally, nationally and at the college you want to attend. For example, the Colorado Mountain College Foundation has more than 140 different types of privately funded scholarships for our students.
Some scholarships don't require a student to have a particular type of residency; anyone can apply. An example of this is the Genevieve Clough Fellowship, for new graduates of Grand Valley, Rifle and Coal Ridge high schools. Available through both the Western Colorado Community Foundation and CMC, it is open to all residency classifications - and students can attend a variety of publicly funded institutions.
Some scholarships, such as the Stephanie Zgorzynski Memorial Scholarship for Veterinary Technology, are only available to students attending CMC in Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley.
The FirstBank First in Family scholarship is for first-generation students - those who are the first in their family to go to college - attending CMC campuses located in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Edwards, Breckenridge and Dillon.
New this year are seven scholarships for CMC students pursuing a degree in New Media through the CMC Isaacson School for New Media. These scholarships have varied eligibility requirements, such as the Anschutz Foundation Scholarship (which is specific to first-generation students) or the Fullerton Family and Walter and Cathy Isaacson Scholarships (which support out-of-state students).
Many scholarships require a minimum grade point average. Some scholarships are specific to an area of study or degree, such as nursing, science, math or law enforcement. These scholarships require a student to be enrolled or to declare a particular major.
There are also a few scholarships directed toward students who have earned a general educational development (GED) diploma and are attending Colorado Mountain College to earn an associate degree or vocational certification.
Since the intent of most scholarship donors is to see a recipient get a degree or vocational certificate, most of our foundation scholarships require a student to declare their intent to earn a degree or complete a vocational program.
Our scholarship process is under way; the deadline to apply for most scholarships is March 15. The deadline for nursing scholarships is May 7.
You can find a list of scholarships and the application at www.coloradomtn.edu/scholarships.
To find out more about financial aid or scholarships, please contact financial aid specialist Natalie Torres at Spring Valley or by calling 945-7481.
Carol Efting is the scholarship coordinator at the Colorado Mountain College Foundation. She can be reached at 947-8355 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Spanish-speaking residents and students can call 1-800-922-1205 for more information.