Tips for Seniors

Applying to College Was Never Easy for Most Students. 

The first sign that Twyla Joseph’s college application process was not going to go as planned came on March 13, 2020, when, a day before her scheduled SAT, she learned the test had been canceled. The May and June tests were also canceled as coronavirus cases surged. 

The Scholarship Fund Office is open 8 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday!  Please feel free to stop by and see me in room A-115 or Ms. Kenney in room A-121 for assistance with college, career, or financial aid planning. We look forward to meeting you and supporting your college dreams!  



●        Need help with finalizing your college essays with early January deadlines? – We are happy to help you brainstorm and edit your essays before winter break! Please share your essay via email at one of the addresses listed below—all essays shared with me by the end of the day on Sunday, December 12th will be returned before the holidays. We will prioritize providing essay feedback on a first-come, first-served basis.

o    Ms. Samuel:

o    Ms. Kenney:

  ●         Money Mondays: ACHS Seniors, would you like to receive funding to help you pay for college? If so, please join the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria for Money Mondays! This is a weekly workshopwhere you can receive assistance with the FAFSA, CSS Profile, or apply for scholarshipsThese workshops will take place starting on December 6th from 3:30 – 4:30 PM in the Titan Den. You can RSVP usingthis link. Can’t wait to work on getting some free money with you!!!

·         Don’t forget to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible! Every senior seeking to enroll in college, trade school, or a CTE program should complete the FAFSA if eligible. Completing the FAFSA can potentially qualify students for up to $6,495 via the Pell Grant, as well as for additional funding in state or institutional aid. Even if the student is not eligible for the Pell Grant, he or she may still be eligible to receive thousands in state or institutional aid. Every family should complete the FAFSA to see what they might qualify for!

o   Completing the FAFSA can qualify students for grants, scholarships, and loans.

●        The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria application is now open! – The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria awarded over $500,000 each year to previous ACHS classes. All current ACHS seniors with above a 2.0 GPA are encouraged to apply. About half of the applicants are awarded a scholarship. The application deadline is Monday, January 31st. To access the SFA application, click here.


●        Don’t forget to renew your FAFSA! – It is time to submit your 2022-23 FAFSA for next school year! Feel free to stop by the Scholarship Fund office for assistance over your winter break. You can make an appointment to complete the FAFSA using this link. We’d love to hear about your fall semester & help you renew your financial aid.

●        Transferring? – For many of you, it is time to start thinking about transferring from NOVA to a 4-year school.  I’d be more than happy to assist with narrowing down your list of schools, editing essays, navigating the Guaranteed Admissions Agreements with Virginia colleges, etc. 

●        Graduating? – Class of 2018, we can’t believe your college graduation is almost here! If you need help brushing up your resume, writing cover letters, preparing for job interviews, or completing grad school applications, please know that you can still reach out to me for help!

Below is a list of upcoming scholarships. Local scholarships are indicated by pink text.


  1. Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarship – December 5, 2021 – $5,000 scholarship awarded to student and $5,000 grant awarded to the hunger-related charity of your choice. Open to students age 5-25 who are volunteering to stop hunger.  
  2. Generation Google Scholarship – December 10, 2021 – $10,000 scholarship for a high school senior, college student, or graduate student who is studying Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or a closely-related field as a full-time students. Applicants should have a strong academic record, demonstrate financial need, exemplify leadership, and demonstrate passion for improving representation of underrepresented groups in computer science and technology.
  3. Google Lime Scholarship – December 12, 2021 – $10,000 scholarships awarded to students who have, or consider themselves to have, a visible or invisible disability. Applicants must be pursuing a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or degree in a related field. Applications are open to high school seniors (who plan to enroll full-time at a college for the 2022-23 school year), current college students, and current graduate students.
  4. Science Ambassador Scholarship – December 13, 2021 at 11:59 PM CST – Full-tuition STEM scholarships open to female high school seniors or current college students. To apply, students must film a three-minute educational video of themselves explaining a STEM topic they’re passionate about. Open to undocumented and international students.
  5. Leadership Enterprise for Diverse America (LEDA) – December 14, 2021 – Free leadership and college prep summer program at Princeton University for current high school juniors from a low-income background with 3.6+ GPA, open to DACA students.
  6. Burger King Scholarship – December 15, 2021 (Deadline is either 12/15 or after 50,000 applications have been received) – $1,000 – $50,000 scholarships open to graduating high school seniors with a 2.5+ GPA. Applicants must plan to enroll full-time, without interruption, in an accredited two- or four-year college during the 2022-23 school year.
  7. Equity Excellence Scholarship – December 17, 2021 (Deadline is either 12/17 or after 10,000 applications have been submitted) – $2,500 to $20,000 scholarships open to high school seniors who plan to enroll full-time in an accredited two- or four-year college in the United States. Applicants must be a United States citizen or legal American resident.
  8. Foot Locker Scholar Athlete Scholarships – December 17, 2021 – $25,000 maximum scholarships open to high school seniors with a 3.0+ GPA who plan to enroll full-time in an accredited two- or four-year college in the United States. Applicants must be a United States citizen or legal American resident. Applicants must also be currently involved in high school, intramural, or community-based sports.
  9. Sallie Mae Completing the Dream Scholarship – December 31, 2021 at 12 PM EST (Deadline is either 12/31 or after all 250 scholarships have been awarded) – $2,500 maximum “gap” scholarships for students with a 2.75+ GPA who are enrolled in their final semester of study during the Fall 2021 semester. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident with a valid permanent resident or passport stamped I-551. Eligible applicants should be diverse candidates. Per the scholarship’s definition, diversity can include, but is not limited to: gender, disability, race, ethnicity, or belonging to an underserved community.
  1. Travis Watkins Tax Attorney Scholarship – December 31, 2021 – $1,000 one-time award for any current or soon-to-be student who has had his or her family’s life altered because of tax controversies (back taxes owed, audits, etc.). Applicants must submit an essay where you explain, present, inspire, or otherwise convince the Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution & Accounting Firm why they deserve to win this scholarship.
  1. Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship – December 31, 2021 –  $1,000 essay scholarship for students in grades 9-12, college students, or graduate students.


  1. TMCF / Wells Fargo HBCU Completion Scholarship – January 3, 2022 at 12 PM EST – $5,000 maximum last-dollar scholarship for outstanding college seniors with financial need attending an HBCU (Historically Black College or University). Applicants must have a 3.0+ GPA and must be U.S. citizens or U.S. legal permanent residents. Applicants must also be enrolled full-time as a senior during the 2021-2022 academic year. Students selected will receive a scholarship for the 2021-22 school year that can be applied to costs associated with tuition and fees.
  2. Virginia Council on Women STEAM-H Essay Contest – January 3, 2022 – Essay contest open to Virginia high school seniors (or homeschool equivalent) who identify as women. GPA minimum is 2.5 for students applying for need-based scholarships and 3.0 for students applying for merit-based scholarships. Applicants should be planning to attend an institution of higher education (to include but not limited to a community college, four-year college or university, trade or technical school, or certificate program). Applicants must provide a 700 – 1,000 word essay that addresses their motivation for pursuing a STEAM-H (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Healthcare) career and their anticipated course of STEAM-H study, trade, and/or profession.
  3. GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship – January 6, 2022 – $10,000 per year renewable scholarship for high school seniors with 3.0+ GPA who demonstrate exemplary leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship.
  4. Bezos Scholars Program – January 7, 2022 – Free year-long leadership development program for high school juniors attending public high schools with over a 30% free and reduced-price lunch rate (ACHS meets this criteria). Applicants must be enrolled in or have taken one or more honors, AP, IB, or college-level course during their high school career. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have received DACA Status. Selected scholars must be available to participate in the year-long program and attend all dates for the Aspen Ideas Festival Trip in Colorado slated for June 23-30, 2022 (or virtually if in-person attendance is not possible).
  5. YouthCon Scholarship – January 9, 2022 – $1,000 – $3,000 essay scholarships available to middle and high school students residing Maryland, Virginia, or Washington D.C. Applicants that are high school seniors must plan to enroll or actually be enrolled full-time as a college student in the Fall 2022 semester.
  6. Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award – January 7, 2022 – $36,000 scholarship open to teens ages 13-19 who self-identify as Jewish who have demonstrated remarkable leadership and engagement in projects that embody the values of tikkun olam, “repairing the world.”
  7. Ron Brown Scholar Program – January 9, 2022 – Open to Black/African-American high school seniors who excel academically, exhibit exceptional leadership potential, participate in community service activities, and demonstrate financial need. US citizens or permanent residents only. Renewable scholarship awarding $10,000 per year.
  8. Fund for Education Abroad – January 12, 2022 at 12 PM EST – $5,000 – $10,000 scholarship for current college students intending to pursue study abroad opportunities. The study abroad program must be at least four weeks and offer credits that are transferrable to the student’s home institution.
  9. JFK Profile in Courage Essay – January 14, 2022 – $100 – $10,000 essay contest open to 9-12 grade students. Students must write an original essay (with a 700 – 1,000 word count) describing an act of political courage by a U.S elected official who served during or after 1917, the year John F. Kennedy was born.
  10. Washington Crossing Scholarship – January 15, 2022 – $500 – $5,000 scholarships for high school seniors planning careers in government service. Applicants will be invited to write a one-page essay stating why he or she plans a career in government service including any inspiration to be derived from the leadership of George Washington in his famous crossing of the Delaware.
  11. Hurst AACN Scholarship – January 15, 2022 – $2,500 scholarship open to current college students pursuing professional nursing degrees at an AACN member institutions.
  1. VALHEN Scholarship – January 16, 2021 – $1,000 – $2,500 scholarships (most of which are renewable) open to  Hispanic/Latinx high school seniors and Virginia undergraduate students, including Virginia community college students transferring to a university in Virginia. Students must live in VA and have a 2.5+ GPA. Open to undocumented students and other students who are not eligible to complete the FAFSA.
  2. The Point Foundation Scholarship – January 18, 2021 at 12 PM EST – Last-dollar renewable scholarship open to LGBTQ high school seniors, college students, or graduate students who will be enrolled full-time at an accredited college in the U.S. as of the fall of 2022. Applicants must be “out” and identify with and work for the betterment of the LGBTQ community. Students who will be enrolled at community colleges, online programs, trade schools, or in post-doctoral research programs are not eligible. Students at community colleges are only eligible to apply if they will have transferred to a four-year university by the 2022-23 school year. Open to undocumented students.
  3. Coolidge Scholarship – January 19, 2022 – 4-year, full-ride scholarship open to high school juniors who have excelled academically and plan to enroll full-time at an accredited U.S. college for the first time in fall 2023. Applicants must be citizens or U.S. permanent residents by the application deadline.
  4. C-SPAN’S Student Cam Competition – January 20, 2022 – $250 – $5,000 one-time awards available for students in grades 6-12. Applicants must create a short (5-6 minute) video documentary on a topic that relates to the competition theme, “How does the federal government impact your life?” Students may compete individually or in teams of 2-3 members.
  5. Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship – January 25, 2022 at 4 PM EST – $5,000 – $10,000 renewable scholarship and guaranteed Amazon internship for U.S. high school seniors with a 3.0+ GPA planning to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or other computer science related field of study. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and must have either completed or be currently enrolled in a computer science course. (Students who have not taken a formal computer science course but have learned on their own can opt to take a brief assessment instead). Applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. (e.g. US citizen, Permanent resident, and DACA holder.)
  6. APIASF Scholarship – January 26, 2022 – $2,500 – $20,000 scholarships (some of which are renewable) scholarship open to students of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity (as defined by the U.S. Census) with a minimum unweighted GPA of 2.7. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or U.S. permanent residents. Citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau are also eligible to apply.
  7. Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Application – January 31, 2022 – $500 – $10,000 scholarships available (many of which are renewable). Awards are exclusively for graduating ACHS seniors with a 2.0+ GPA, and both financial need-based and non-need based awards are available. About 50% of applicants win! Open to undocumented students and other students who are not eligible to complete the FAFSA.
  8. Princeton Prize in Race Relations – January 31, 2022 – $1,000 scholarship and all-expense paid trip to a national symposium on race relations at Princeton University. Open to students in grades 9-12 grade who significantly engage and challenge their schools or communities to advance racial equity in order to promote respect and understanding among all people. There are two parts of the application—one for you and one for your sponsor. Your sponsor must be a teacher, advisor, community or religious leader, or another responsible adult who is not related to you.

Additional Scholarship Sources

·         United Negro College Fund: Various scholarships available for college-bound African-American students

·         Scholarship America: Scholarship application site where nearly 100 scholarships are listed

·         Scholarship Sharing: Virginia-based scholarship search engine

·         FastWeb: Scholarship search engine

As usual, please feel free to contact me with any questions. Please feel free to make an appointment using this link to discuss any of the topics below.

●        Scholarships and financial aid

●        Analyzing financial aid award letters

●        Writing college and scholarship essays

●        Building a résumé

●        Financial aid options for undocumented students


Ms. Samuel

Alyssa Samuel, M.Ed.
Director of College Advising and Scholarship Programming 
Scholarship Fund of Alexandria
Alexandria City High School 
Make an appointment with me at

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