Purpose of Scholarship
The Occupational Scholarship Program
provides financial assistance to students enrolled in qualifying vocational programs at public two-year colleges so that students can complete the program within two years and find employment in a high-demand field. It was created by the 2015 Minnesota Legislature and will be implemented for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years as a pilot study.Amount of Scholarship
The scholarship will cover any remaining tuition and fee charges after the student’s Federal Pell Grant and MN State Grant have been applied to the student’s account.
FUNDS ARE LIMITED
We recommend that you APPLY to Ridgewater, FILL out your FAFSA, and REGISTER for classes EARLY!
Student Eligibility RequirementsTo qualify for the scholarship, the student must:
Applying for the Scholarship
- Enroll in a qualifying certificate, diploma, AS or AAS program at a public two-year college for the fall term immediately following:
- High school graduation; or
- Completing an Adult Basic Education program; or
- Passing a GED test; or
- Completing a 12 or 24-month Americorps program after high school
- Meet the definition of MN resident used for state financial aid programs
- Includes undocumented students qualifying as MN residents under the MN Dream Act
- Have tuition and fee charges not fully covered by Pell and State Grants during fall semester 2016
- Have an adjusted gross income (or wages for non-filers) of $90,000 or less reported on the FAFSA (or MN Dream Act state financial aid application used by undocumented students)
- For a student applying as a dependent student, parental income is used
- For a student applying as an independent student student (and spouse’s, if married) income is used
- Participate in free mentoring services throughout the student’s academic program
See list of Ridgewater College qualifying programs.To apply for the initial scholarship
for the 2016-2017 academic year, students must complete the 2016-2017 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available January 1, 2016. Due to limited scholarship funding, students are advised to complete the FAFSA as early as possible. Any additional applications or questionnaires required for the scholarship will be posted on www.ohe.state.mn.us by January 2016. Undocumented students should apply using the MN Dream Act state financial aid application instead of the FAFSA.To apply for a renewal scholarship
for the 2017-2018 academic year, students must complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA, which is available October 1, 2016, as well as any other required documentation.First Year Scholarship
The scholarship will be available for each term of the 2016-2017 academic year, including summer term. The amount of the scholarship can change each term depending on the student’s enrollment level and the amount of the student’s Federal Pell Grant and MN State Grant. In cases where the student’s other grants cover tuition and fee charges for a term, the scholarship will be $0.
A student must receive the scholarship during the fall term of 2016 in order to take part in the pilot study and receive the scholarship for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years.
Because this program requires the student to successfully complete 30 semester credits during the 2016-2017 academic year (including the summer term), recipients will be encouraged to take 15 or more credits for fall and spring semesters. Another option will be for students to take at least 12 credits for fall and spring semesters and make up the remaining six credits during the summer semester.Second Year Scholarship – Conditions for Renewal
The scholarship can be renewed for the 2017-2018 academic year if the student meets the following conditions:
Required Mentoring Services
- Submits a 2017-2018 FAFSA and any other required documents in a timely manner
- Successfully completes at least 30 semester credits during the 2016-2017 academic year, including summer term
- Participated in required free mentoring services during the 2016-2017 academic year
- Making satisfactory academic progress and maintaining a GPA of at least 2.5 at the end of the first academic year and for each term of the 2017-2018 academic year.
- Student’s college certifies the student is on track to complete the program during the 2017-2018 academic year.
To support students throughout their academic programs, this scholarship program requires recipients to participate in free mentoring services including, but not limited to:
- Communicating with the mentoring service throughout program participation
- Developing a personalized student success plan which includes
- Concrete steps towards program completion and job placement
- Identification of and contingency plans for potential obstacles to completion
- Making connections to on-campus resources and personal development opportunities
- Financial planning