Flint, MI—For students in the city of Flint and Genesee County, a variety of financial aid is available to help offset the cost of education after high school.

James Avery, program director of Flint & Genesee Education & Talent, said it’s good to start planning early. He encouraged students to begin thinking about plans for post-secondary education around sophomore year of high school. That includes identifying degrees they may pursue and potential scholarship opportunities.

“​​I encourage every student to really research and investigate. Being seasoned in life, I wish I had these type of resources when I was entering college,” Avery said of scholarships that are available for students.

Throughout high school, creating “a resume of sorts” by keeping a running log of activities that includes employment, recreational sports leagues or volunteer work will help when students apply for scholarships, said Lori Vedder, director of financial aid and interim vice provost for enrollment management at the University of Michigan-Flint.

“When they’re ready to build not only scholarship applications, but in some cases, admission applications, they have that resource to go back to to say, ‘This is what I’ve done. This is how I can apply it and this is why I’m worthy of this scholarship,’” Vedder said. 

Further, she encouraged high school students to discuss with their guidance counselor and family or guardians about scholarship opportunities. Vedder also pointed to fastweb.com and the financial aid offices of higher education institutions as resources.

Jennifer Farrington, program officer at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, added that completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on time is a critical first step in the application process.

“Completing the FAFSA is really important for identifying what financial aid package you might get at a school,” Farrington said. That goes for a range of scholarships offered by organizations beyond higher education institutions as well. 

FAFSA for the 2023 to 2024 academic year is still open, with deadlines varying between state, federal and institutional aid. Meanwhile, the application window for the 2024 to 2025 academic year will open in December 2023, according to Vedder.

All in all, officials advise completing the form sooner rather than later.

Below are a few scholarship and financial aid opportunities Flint students may be eligible for: 

  1. Flint Promise 

The scholarship program, administered by Flint & Genesee Education & Talent, is designed for individuals who graduate from high schools within the city of Flint, or receive a GED in the city in or after 2018. 

  1. Scholarship funds administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint 

The Community Foundation of Greater Flint administers 64 scholarship funds, some of which are awarded specifically for graduating students of Southwestern Classical Academy and the Accelerated Learning Academy of the Flint Community Schools district. The application window is typically between December and March. 

  1. Genesee Opportunity Stipend 

The Genesee Intermediate School District offers the Genesee Opportunity stipend for high school graduates when it comes to fees for college, career training or certification licensing.

  1. Wilsterman Scholarships 

The Wilsterman Foundation provides the Wilsterman Scholarships for Genesee County students who have graduated from a high school in the county. The application typically begins in October and ends in March. 

  1. Michigan Achievement Scholarship 

The Michigan Achievement Scholarship is a new state program for students who graduate from high school in Michigan. 

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...