Frequently Asked Questions
When will I know if I have met the high school eligibility requirements?
If you met the requirements you should have received a letter from The Degree Project during the summer of 2015 letting you know you met the GPA, attendance, and degree requirements for the scholarship.
Where can I attend college and use the scholarship?
You can attend any college in the state that's part of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System, Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), Nonprofit Independent Colleges and Universities, or the Wisconsin Tribal Colleges system. A list of eligible Wisconsin colleges can be found here.
Do I have to start college right away after high school? What if I take a year off before starting college?
You must have enrolled at an eligible college by Sept. 30, 2016.
Do I need to be a full-time student or can I use the scholarship as a part-time student?
You can use scholarship funds from The Degree Project to attend an eligible Wisconsin college at least half-time. Half-time is generally considered to be 6 credit hours or more, but may vary from college to college. Consult the college you choose to attend to confirm the number of credits needed for half-time enrollment.
How do I remain eligible to receive scholarship money from The Degree Project after my first year of college?
You must attend college at least half-time (generally 6 credit hours or more) and continue to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) each year. You must also maintain eligibility for federal financial aid during that time, including meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements as defined by your college. Generally this means earning a 2.0 GPA or better.
How much scholarship money will I get?
It depends. The amount of your scholarship will be based on a number of factors including how much the college you attend costs and how much other financial aid you are receiving. You can receive up to $6,000 per year until the maximum $12,000 is paid out. See how the calculation works here.
What if the Financial Aid Office says I don't have any financial need?
You won't receive any scholarship money for that year of college. But financial circumstances can change from year to year. Completing the FAFSA® every year lets your college recalculate your financial need. The amount you get can differ from year to year based on the cost of college and your situation.
If I transfer colleges will I still be able to use The Degree Project scholarship?
If you were attending an eligible college as of Sept 30, 2016, you remain eligible to use your scholarship from The Degree Project as long as you continue attending an eligible college, complete the FAFSA® each year, and maintain satisfactory academic progress. You may transfer from one of the eligible Wisconsin colleges to another without affecting your eligibility.
How many years after high school graduation do I have to use the scholarship?
Following your high school graduation, you will have until June 30, 2019, to use your scholarship from The Degree Project.
What will happen if I do not use all of the scholarship money in four years after high school graduation?
After June 30, 2019, The Degree Project scholarship will no longer be available to you.
Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to get The Degree Project scholarship?
Yes, because federal regulations require that you be a citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States with a valid Social Security number in order to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)—one of the requirements for receiving a scholarship from The Degree Project.
Do I need to complete an application or essay to be eligible for The Degree Project?
The only application required is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), which you need to complete for federal financial aid anyway. No extra paperwork or essays are required to receive your scholarship from The Degree Project.
What is the FAFSA® And why do I need to file it every year?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is a form that the federal government requires you to complete in order to be eligible to receive federal student aid (e.g., grants, loans, work-study). This same form is also used to determine your eligibility to receive student aid from the State of Wisconsin. The form asks for information such as family income, assets, and debt. Financial aid of some type is available to everyone, and FAFSA® completion will ensure that you can receive the maximum amount of aid, including free money in the form of grants, for which you are eligible.
To be eligible for a scholarship from The Degree Project, completing the FAFSA® is required to calculate your financial need and you must have need to receive a scholarship. Go to FAFSA.gov to learn more.
When do I file the FAFSA® form?
You must complete the FAFSA® prior to entering college and then each year that you are in college. A number of grants (money that does not need to be repaid) are available from a variety of sources on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply early to get the most aid. It is best to fill out the form as soon as you can after October 1. Go to FAFSA.gov to learn more.
How can I get help completing the FAFSA® form?
You can get started with the FAFSA4caster where you can receive an estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid by providing some basic information. When you are ready to actually fill out the form after October 1, there are several ways you can get help:
- Visit one of the MPS College & Career Centers for workshops or one-on-one assistance. For more information, visit http://mps.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/en/Programs/College-and-Career-Centers.htm.
- Attend a College Goal Wisconsin event in the Milwaukee area. Learn more at collegegoalwi.org.
- Get help online at federalstudentaid.ed.gov.
Can I receive financial aid in addition to The Degree Project scholarship? If so, what financial aid is available?
Yes. You may be able to receive additional funding for college from other sources such as government grants, loans, and work-study which require you to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA®). You may also receive private loans and grants through a variety of sources. Speak with your college financial aid office for assistance with finding these additional forms of financial aid.
How will I receive scholarship dollars awarded through The Degree Project?
Instead of sending you a check, The Degree Project will send your scholarship dollars to the college you choose to attend. The college's financial aid office will include the scholarship as part of your financial aid package, which also includes other scholarships, grants, and work-study.
Can I use the scholarship for graduate school?
No. The scholarship cannot be used for graduate school.
Does the money I receive through The Degree Project scholarship have to be paid back?
No. The Degree Project scholarship is not a loan; it is a gift and therefore does not have to be paid back.