Who Can Apply to DFS
Applicants apply for one of three awards:
Richardson Scholar Awards: Highly competitive, 4-year, $5,000 per year awards. Applicants must be HS seniors with financial need who meet high academic, leadership and service standards. All Richardson applicants will be considered for all of our most prestigious awards, including the Frances and Ronald Jaffe Education Foundation Scholarships. They will also be automatically considered for DFS awards.
Dollars for Scholars Awards: Merit-based, 2-year awards sponsored by DFS, other community organizations and individuals. Applicants must be HS seniors with financial need who have demonstrated the ability and desire to succeed in college. Academic standards for these awards are set below those for Richardson Scholar applicants.
Community College Graduate Awards: Merit-based, 2-year awards for upcoming AA/AS degree recipients attending community college as well as students already pursuing a BA/BS degree who have an established track record of success in college.
Scholarship Qualification. All DFS recipients must...
- Have strong academic and extracurricular and/or work records that demonstrates readiness to succeed in college.
- Have financial need and realistic plans for paying for the colleges they plan to attend. DFS awards supplement a student’s family funding, college scholarships, and loans. We grant awards only where they will help close a realistic gap.
- Plan to be a full-time students at an accredited public or private college or university (earning at least 12 credits/semester).
- Be residents of Indian River County and plan to maintain legal residency in IRC for the duration of any award received.
- Be graduates of an in county high school or one that serves county students; a graduate of IRSC residing in Indian River County; a GED recipient living in Indian River County; a home-schooled student residing in Indian River County.
- File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. It is strongly recommended that families file the FAFSA in January (use estimates, if needed and update later) and address any issues raised promptly. We and the colleges you are applying to need error-free FAFSA/SARs by our deadlines, and it can take time to work through the process and issues that may arise.
- Attend a financial interview with a parent or guardian unless the student is confirmed as "independent" on their SAR.
- Attend the DFS Awards Ceremony in late May, if invited.
- Submit a Part One: Online Application by February 5, 2013 and the Part Two: Supplemental Materials in person at the DFS office no later than February 13, 2013. See How to Apply for application instructions and forms.
...and meet the academic requirements for the type of scholarship they apply for:
- Richardson Applicants: Must meet the Bright Futures requirements for an Academic Scholar Award, including having a score of at least 28 on the ACT or 1280 on the SAT (combined critical reading and math) and have an unweighted academic GPA of 3.5. Must be a graduating HS senior who will be freshman at 4-year college. Call our office if you have questions about your eligibility, as exceptions are sometimes made due to extraordinary circumstances.
- Dollars For Scholars Applicants: Must meet the Bright Futures requirements for at least a Medallion Award, including having a score of at least 22 on the ACT or 1020 on the SAT (critical reading and math) and have an unweighted academic GPA of 3.0.
- Community College Graduate Applicants: Must be 1) a spring or summer 2013 candidate for an AA/AS degree from IRSC or 2) a college student who will have earned at least 48 college credits (post high school) by the end of the Spring 2013 semester with a minimum cumulative college GPA of 3.0 or 3) one with fewer than 48 credits by end of spring 2013 semester who met the current academic requirements for HS seniors (3.0 unweighted GPA and 1020SAT/22ACT) while in HS.