QUESTION: My son is graduating from high school this year and plans to attend college in the fall. We are looking for assistance with college expenses. Do you know of any scholarships that are available that he can apply for?
ANSWER: High school seniors can apply for the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship until May 1, 2007. I encourage all eligible seniors planning to further their education to apply for this scholarship.
The Byrd Scholarship Program is a federally funded program that offers merit scholarships to outstanding high school seniors who have been accepted at an institution of higher education. The program rewards academic excellence in high school and encourages students to continue their education. Students who have consistently distinguished themselves in the classroom are encouraged to pursue this opportunity by submitting an application.
Students can receive a $1,500 scholarship for the 2007-08 academic year with the possibility of renewal for an additional three years. The award amount can change depending on the level of federal funding. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) administers the program.
Applicants for a Byrd Scholarship must rank in the top 5 percent of their high school graduating class or rank first, second or third in a class of 60 students or less. They must have at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 unweighted scale, and they must have a combined Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score of at least 1150; a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 25 or above; or a GED score of 3550 or above.
Eligible students also must be Pennsylvania residents and U.S. citizens, and they must be in their first full-time enrollment at an eligible institution of higher education. In addition, applicants must submit a letter of acceptance from the school or college holding their application.
Since the number of awards is dependent upon Federal funding, qualified students may not receive the scholarship. To help those students, the PHEAA Academic Excellence Scholarship Award Program provides scholarships in the amount of $1,500 to those students who applied and qualified for the federal Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program but did not receive the scholarship. There is no separate application process for the PHEAA Academic Excellence Scholarship Award Program.
For an application, please contact one of my district offices at:
(In the K-Mart Plaza)
4457 Buffalo Road
707 East Columbus Ave.
Applications are also available from high school guidance counselors; by visiting the PHEAA Web site at pheaa.org; or by writing to PHEAA State Grant and Special Programs, Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program, P.O. Box 8114, Harrisburg, PA, 17105-8114. The phone number is 1-800-692-7392.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of my district offices. We are here for you and will help you in any way we can.
Rep. Curt Sonney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives