Vicki L. Beam: A great time to search for scholarships

Jan. 25—Many families of high school seniors are getting financial aid letters and wondering how they are going to cover the balance due. Now is a great time to start searching for scholarship opportunities. Most colleges have a scholarship portal that is open to accepted students. Pay particular attention to the deadlines and requirements to be considered for the scholarships.

Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation's scholarships are open for applications, with many of the deadlines of March 1, 2023. You can visit now to get details about scholarships and the application process.

Make sure to visit your high school counselor office for information on other local scholarships that are available. There are many websites that help you get matched to scholarships — including,,,,,, and

If you visit Michigan College Planning's website, there is a recap of many scholarships according to their application deadline.

Students who graduate from high school in Michigan with a diploma or certificate of completion or achieved a high school equivalency certificate in 2023 or after will be eligible for more financial aid from the State of Michigan. The Michigan Achievement Scholarship will be available for students that demonstrate financial need. The scholarship will provide up to $2,000 if they attend an eligible private training provider in Michigan, per year, up to two years; up to $2,750 if they attend a Michigan community college, per year, up to three years; up to $4,000 if they attend a Michigan private college or university, per year, up to five years or up to $5,500 if they attend a Michigan public university, per year, up to five years.

To receive a Michigan Achievement Scholarship, students must: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); be a Michigan resident since July 1 of the previous calendar year; if you are a dependent student, your parent must also be a Michigan resident since July 1 of the previous calendar year; graduate from high school in Michigan in 2023 or after OR complete a certificate of high school completion or equivalency certificate in 2023 or after; demonstrate financial need when they complete the FAFSA — by having an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $25,000 or less; enroll full-time at an eligible institution — including Michigan community colleges, tribal colleges and public or private universities; enroll at an eligible institution within 15 months of high school graduation or earning a high school equivalency certificate. Students are not eligible if they are incarcerated or are in default on a federal student loan.

There is an informational webinar available to families on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. You can register at

High school seniors who demonstrate financial need and have obtained a minimum of 1200 on their SAT may also be eligible for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship. Awards are restricted to tuition and mandatory fees. Awards pay up to a maximum of $1,500 per academic year. The Michigan Competitive Scholarship is a renewable scholarship for undergraduate students attending eligible Michigan postsecondary institutions. To apply for the scholarship, a student must file a FAFSA.

Take advantage of Michigan College Planning's College Planning workshops to learn more about how to reduce stress, save time and potentially money during the college planning process. Visit or locations and dates. The workshops are informative and include steps you can take right now to assure you understand the cost of attendance and how you can afford college. If you are unable to attend a workshop, feel free to call Michigan College Planning with your questions.

Please contact our office with any questions you may have. We will be hosting college planning workshops at the local schools again after the first of the year. In the meantime, we have put together other resources to help families virtually. Contact our office for more details.

Vicki L. Beam is a college planner at Michigan College Planning located in Traverse City. She encourages questions and comments about future columns. Contact Michigan College Planning at (231)947-0203, by email at and at