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DFS scholarships still useful

Posted 2/23/16 (Tue)

DFS scholarships still useful

By Cecile Krimm
Divide County High School seniors planning to attend Williston State College (WSC) in the fall should still apply for scholarships locally.
Divide County Area Dollars for Scholars (DFS) President Mary Dhuyvetter said the recent announcement of free tuition and fees for 2016 grads planning to attend WSC doesn’t negate the possibility of receiving local scholarships.
“Definitely students should still apply for our scholarships because they definitely can use them,” said Dhuyvetter.
With the average DFS scholarship coming in around $1,000, “I’m sure you’re not going to get by with much less than that for books,” she said.
The scholarships are awarded to the school but are tied to each student. Left over monies are refunded to the student at the end of the term. 
That money, said Dhuyvetter, can help offset housing or other living expenses.
Important, too, she said, is filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
While DFS scholarships are not based on financial need, the local group does require the form to be filled out, as do all colleges.
“If you don’t fill out your FAFSA, you’re not in that system at all,” she said, and students could miss out on other scholarships offered through the school or for specific courses of study.
The offer from WSC also covers five mandatory student fees for things like technology and recreation.
Dhuyvetter said, years ago, scholarship checks were written directly to students, but the new system provides a set of checks and balances.
“Once all the financial obligations are met at the school then that money would be available for students,” and may be used for rent or other expenses while attending college.
The WSC scholarship is now open to all 2016 high school seniors in Divide, Burke, Mountrail and McKenzie counties. Another scholarship fund pays tuition and fees for students graduating from Williams County schools. Students must be registered full time and maintain a 2.0 grade point average, with at least one class that’s taken on campus -- not just online.
The deadline for application for DFS scholarships is April 1 for both high school seniors and returning college students.
The DFS application also qualifies students for consideration for a share of $100,000 in state DFS scholarships.
Students are urged to fill out their FAFSA as soon as possible.
The Divide County Area Dollars for Scholars spring scholarship auction is set for March 31 and tickets are on sale now.