What Is GSA?
The Greenwich Scholarship Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that awards need-based scholarships from local sponsor organizations and families to students who reside in Greenwich or attend Greenwich High School and have a demonstrated financial need. GSA matches qualifying students with scholarships based on criteria set forth by each sponsor (e.g., extracurricular involvement, GPA, intended major, etc.). After your GSA interview in May, you may be chosen to receive a particular award at which point you will be notified.
What does ‘need-based scholarship’ mean?
Need-based scholarships are awarded only to candidates who have a demonstrated financial need. A financial need means that a student’s family’s financial resources (including income and savings) combined with their financial aid package from their chosen school will not cover their cost of college. Applicants who do not meet the financial need criteria based upon submission of their EFC will be notified in early April. Applicants who do qualify will be considered for a scholarship.
Demonstrated financial need means that students must show that a combination of resources including Estimated Family Contribution, Financial Aid Package elements and other outside awards will NOT cover the cost of tuition, room and board at a state university. *The EFC number that determines eligible fluctuates each year depending on the number of applicants and funds available to us. Please be advised that generally any EFC over $25,000 will not be considered eligible.
Full funding by scholarship, grant or loan forgiveness may disqualify candidates from receiving money through GSA. GSA scholarships are for tuition, room & board and mandatory fees. Other uses of scholarship funds may incur tax liabilities to the student.
How can I apply?
Please note this is a two part application and both parts must be completed to be considered for a scholarship. Part 1 is the GSA application which is online. The application is submitted electronically and you can save your work, so it need not be completed all at once. Applicants will be required to submit their Student Aid Report (SAR) which is generated when the FAFSA is completed (all students must file a FAFSA as part of the request for aid from schools). Click here for a step by step guide.
All financial information will be kept confidential and is for eligibility purposes only.
Once qualified applicants are determined, Part 2 is an interview with GSA Board Members and the submission of the student’s financial aid package from their chosen school. Awards cannot be matched until we have this information.
What if I cannot file a FAFSA?
GSA recognizes that there are certain circumstances under which students are ineligible to file a FAFSA. These students may still be eligible for consideration and should meet with their guidance counselor for next steps.
What if I am ineligible for financial aid?
Similarly, GSA recognizes that there are certain circumstances under which students do not qualify for financial aid. Should these students meet the other GSA criteria, they should submit any documentation of declined aid in place of an aid package. All financially related conversations are kept confidential.
How do GSA and its sponsors award their college scholarships?
Funds are reserved for those students who, after consideration of their college financial aid package and their family’s ability to contribute to the cost of college, still demonstrate an unmet financial need. In addition, many of our sponsors are looking for certain qualities in addition to financial need (e.g., involvement in a particular activity, interest in a certain field of study, or academic excellence). Together, these factors will determine which award(s) you will receive. If a student is receives full funding by scholarship, grant or loan forgiveness, they will no longer be eligible to receive funding through GSA.
How much scholarship money can I expect to receive?
In a typical year, there are 100-120 students who receive scholarships through GSA. Most recipients receive awards in the $1000 – $2,500 range. However, the amount of money awarded varies from year to year, as do the number of students who qualify for the GSA scholarship process. Please understand that it is impossible to meet every student’s full financial need, particularly as the cost of college continues to rise. Additionally, please note that all scholarships are applied to the first year of college and, with limited exception, are not renewable.
What happens if I change my college after I receive my awards from GSA?
It is extremely important that you communicate any changes in your college choice or financial aid package to GSA as soon as possible. In most cases, awards are easily transferred to your new school BUT it is important that you keep us updated on your decisions.
When will scholarship money arrive at my school?
Checks are sent by GSA in the first 2 weeks of July but we need your Student ID # to include with the check to make sure it matches with your Bursar’s Account. If your awards are not reflected in your bursar’s account by the end of July, contact us.