As Seward County Community College Saints prepare for the Spring 2021 semester, it is already time to begin thinking about the following academic year. SCCC Financial Aid Director Amy Bridenstine has announced the opening of the 2021-2022 SCCC Scholarship & Grant Application.
“The new scholarship app is strictly online,” she said, adding that financial aid and the SCCC Foundation have installed new systems to link students with funding opportunities — for example, scholarships earmarked for those studying a particular field, or who come to campus from a particular town.
“The Foundation, which handles the private scholarship funds given to the college, can now match the opportunities with eligible students more easily,” said Bridenstine. “It speeds the office processes, but more important than that, it gets the money to the intended recipients in a timely fashion.”
While Bridenstine’s department works closely with the Foundation, the staff also handles the federal funding available to students through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). FAFSA applications for the next academic year (2021-22) opened in October.
The holiday break is the ideal time for students and their families to complete next year’s FAFSA, said Bridenstine. If the process is daunting or problematic, the SCCC Financial Aid team is happy to help.
“Our campus closes Dec. 23 through Jan. 4, but when we reopen, we will be available to work with students over the phone or in person,” said Bridenstine. “We encourage scheduling appointments so that there isn’t such a long wait time. Just give us a call!” The phone number to the SCCC Financial Aid office is 620-417-1110.
Bridenstine said her office, which also handled disbursement of more than $300,000 in federal funds to students in the fall 2020 semester, sees the need for financial aid in a personal way.
“When students applied for the CARES/HEERF money, they were very open with us about their situations,” she said. “COVID definitely affected people, and caused a great deal of stress.” While Bridenstine hopes life will soon achieve a greater sense of normality, she encouraged students to look ahead and do everything possible to access available aid.
“Federal aid is sometimes the Pell grant, which does not have to be repaid, and the various types of student loans,” she said. “But that is not the whole picture. Even if students do not think they will be eligible for Pell money, the application itself helps us identify what their needs might be.” In distributing emergency money during the pandemic, for instance, the financial aid office relied on data that placed students at various levels of need.
As 2021 begins, Bridenstine offered a simple, three-step suggestion for students who plan to attend classes in the coming year:
- Students must have an SCCC portal log-in to complete a scholarship app. The SCCC log-in is part of the admissions process. To begin an application, students may contact the admissions office at 417-1100. The process can also be started online, via this link: https://ssb-live15.sccc.edu:8099/prod/bwskalog.P_DispLoginNon
- Students should complete the FAFSA for 2021-22. The application involves several steps, beginning with setting up an “FSA ID.” https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa
- Once students have an SCCC portal log-in, they can fill out the scholarship application with this link: : https://sccc.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/CMXAdmin/Cmx_Content.aspx?cpId=1235