The Future Connect Scholarship seeks to eliminate financial barriers to pursuing post-secondary education and training while providing on-going supports during college, so youth can earn a certificate or degree and access living wage jobs. Future Connect is a partnership between businesses, colleges and communities to help students find success at the next level of college or their career.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Eligible?
- Students interested in attending any of the following schools:
- Portland Community College (PCC)
- Mount Hood Community College (MHCC)
- Students graduating from high schools within Multnomah County, Hillsboro School District and the Incorporated City of Beaverton
- Students who graduate this year (September 1st 2014 – August 31st 2015) with a Diploma or GED
- Students who have participated in SummerWorks or Summer Youth Connect Partner programs. These students will have priority eligibility over others.
How much financial assistance does the scholarship provide?
Based on individual student Financial Aid applications some students may receive up to $3,400.00 per year. Future Connect recipients however will receive a minimum of $600 per year for three years. That’s at least $1800.00!!! This money may be used to help with tuition, books, fees, and supplies.
Beyond the money, what other supports does the Future Connect Scholarship provide?
Every student will receive a personalized academic advisor (a College Success Coach) to help them navigate their college experience. It’s like having your own College Success Coach working just with you. Students will get immediate assistance with registration, academic advising, career-guidance and additional information and answers to help you survive and succeed in your collegiate career and beyond.
How does the Future Connect Scholarship help me get on the path to a good career?
Data shows that individuals with more education earn more and have higher rate of employment, so getting additional education and training beyond high school is a good idea. Future Connect Scholars get ongoing career guidance through their personalized academic advisor. In addition, Future Connect gives you access to internships to give you real-world possibilities for applying your college experience and learning.
Can I use the scholarship at any college I want?
No. The scholarship is available at Portland Community College and Mount Hood Community College.
How do I apply for the Future Connect Scholarship?
The Future Connect Application will go live on the PCC website in the first week of December at PCC and First week of January at MHCC. Priority will be given to those applicants who complete the application earliest and before the March 1st deadline.
How do I apply for financial aid?
The first step in seeking financial aid for higher education is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Future Connect Scholarship applicants MUST complete the FAFSA. Starting January 1st, fill out the FAFSA online at fafsa.ed.gov. College financial aid goes fast. The earlier you can get in your FAFSA application and all of the other information that a college asks for, the sooner you'll receive your financial aid package.
Once I am notified I have been selected, am I guaranteed a scholarship?
No. Scholarship recipients will be awarded a scholarship contingent upon 1) attainment of HS diploma/GED; 2) enrollment in PCC or MHCC for Fall Term 2012; and 3) minimum scores on the COMPASS test.
What are the minimum COMPASS scores to receive a scholarship?
The COMPASS is used by colleges to determine proper course placement. Given the goals of the scholarship program and the types of supports provided, scholarship recipients may test into a developmental education course, however, they must meet at least the following level test scores: Reading 90, Writing, or Math 20.
What happens if I don’t meet the minimum COMPASS scores?
The following options will be available for students who do not meet this requirement:
- Students will have access to an intensive summer study sessions to increase their placement scores and then be expected to retest.
- Students can pay to take the Developmental Education course(s) over the summer. If students successful complete their coursework, they will able to access their scholarship in the fall.
- Students who test into Reading 90 and Writing 90 may be able to enroll in Project Degree at PCC’s SE Campus Campus where they can spend two terms increasing their skills and after completing their second term will receive their Future Connect Scholarship. Any student who tests into RD 90 and WR 90 will have the chance to receive the scholarships if they agree to participate in the Project Degree Program.
- Students who tests into ESOL classes must test into level 8 to be eligible for the scholarship. Any students not meeting these base line criteria will be referred to supports within the ESOL department at PCC for assistance with enrolling.
Can I apply for other scholarships or grants?
Yes. The Future Connect Scholarship is not intended to be the sole source of funding for a student college education. Your FAFSA will determine whether you qualify for federal and state grants as well as your loan package. Grants do not need to be paid back, while loans do. The Future Connect Scholarship is a last dollar grant, which means it is intended to cover the gap between the cost of tuition, books, and fees (approx. $4,500) and an individual student’s federal and state grant aid. You may also be eligible for many other student scholarship opportunities available through the Oregon Student Assistance Commission and individual colleges.
How many Scholarships are available at each college?
- PCC has 200 from Multnomah County and 50 from Hillsboro and 50 from Beaverton (300 total)
- MHCC has 20
Are students eligible if they have already taken courses at PCC?
Yes. Students MUST earn a HS diploma or GED this school year to be eligible for the Future Connect Scholarship. If a student completed their diploma or GED in the fall and subsequently enrolled in PCC in the spring, they are still eligible for the scholarship. Furthermore if students have taken PCC courses as part of their high school or GED coursework, they are still eligible for the scholarship.
Can a student earn a HS Diploma over the summer and still be eligible?
Yes. As long as a student earns a HS Diploma or GED by the end of August AND enrolls in PCC for Fall Term (i.e. September 2015), the student will retain the scholarship.
Are over-age students eligible to apply for the scholarship?
Yes. Students age 21 years or younger (as of September 1, 2015) are eligible to apply for the scholarship provided they earn a HS Diploma or GED this school year (2014/15).
Can a student earn a Modified Diploma and qualify for Future Connect?
Yes. As of 2013, FAFSA began recognizing the Modified Diploma as eligible for Federal Aid.
Are students eligible to participate in Future Connect and Roots (or similar TRIO or other college access programming)?
No. Given the similar program model and in order to support as many students as possible to enroll and complete college, students can NOT participate in Future Connect and Roots (or similar TRIO or other college access programming). If a student is selected for both programs, the student would have to choose to enroll in one program or the other. However, student currently working with TRIO program in high school who are preparing to go to PCC may apply and be eligible once they graduate.
Can students who are undocumented qualify for this scholarship?
YES. However, since the scholarship is based on a student’s financial aid application, an undocumented student would only qualify for a base amount of $1500.00 per year + the 3 free classes. Future Connect staff work hard to connect with families and communities around seeking out additional resources for students who are unable to complete a financial aid application.
Can a student qualify for Project Degree (a PCC PREP Program) and Future Connect?
Yes. Students who test in to RD 90 and WR 90 will be accepted for the scholarship upon their agreement to complete Project Degree. Students may access scholarship funds once they complete one term of Project Degree. Project Degree is designed to assist students who test into two or more developmental ed courses and progress to college-level coursework. Scholarship applicants who do not qualify for Future Connect based upon COMPASS scores will be encouraged to participate in Project Degree.