Pittsylvania County Schools: 
A Great Place to Learn and Work!



P.O. Box 232 • 39 Bank Street, SE 
Chatham, Virginia 24531  
Telephone:  (434) 432-2761 • 1-888-440-6520
Fax: (434) 432-9560


Counseling Services




Online Scholarship Searches

  • Use online scholarship searches such as Fastweb to obtain information about a variety of state-wide and national scholarships.
  • Begin using online searches as early as your freshman year in high school. You may continue to use these search engines throughout your college years.
  • When initially logging in as a new user on Fastweb, you should be prepared to complete a questionnaire which may take approximately thirty minutes. You should answer all questions. Immediately following completion of the questionnaire, you will receive a list of scholarships for which you may qualify. You should then begin applying for the scholarships for which you feel most qualified. You are advised to click "No Thanks" when advertisements appear on the computer screen while you are completing the Fastweb questionnaire. You do not need to buy anything in order to receive scholarship information from Fastweb. This is a free service. Once you have registered with Fastweb, you should regularly check your Fastweb account for new scholarships and apply for those scholarships. If you do not have internet access at home or school, remember that public libraries have internet services.
  • Visit the Web Links section and the Scholarships section of this web site for more information about scholarships.

Merit Scholarships

  • Merit scholarships are connected with PSAT scores from the eleventh grade year.  Although all students take the PSAT during tenth grade, students need to retake the PSAT during eleventh grade in order to be considered for merit scholarships connected with the PSAT.
  • High SAT and ACT scores combined with a high grade point average often result in merit scholarships.
  • Students should submit college applications as soon as possible during the senior year. If you qualify for merit scholarship competitions, the college will usually notify you. By waiting until late in the school year to submit applications, you are minimizing your chances of participating in some scholarship competitions and honors programs. Submitting an application early during your senior year also assures you that the colleges will include you on mailing lists for important college information.

Need-Based Scholarships

  • In order to be considered for need-based scholarships, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) during your senior year.

  • Mail or submit FAFSA online as soon as possible after January 1 of your senior year if you plan to attend a two-year college or a four-year college. The FAFSA application will be available online after January 1.

  • If you apply online, make sure that you complete the FAFSA form for the year that you will be in college.

Scholarship Listings

  • Check with a counselor about the school’s procedures for notifying students about local scholarships.

Applying for Scholarships

  • Applying for scholarships is a time-consuming process. Devote at least a couple of hours each week to your search for scholarships during your senior year. Don't be surprised if you never hear any results from national scholarships for which you apply. Furthermore, don't be surprised if you apply for every possible local scholarship and only win one or two. Think about it; twenty people might apply for one local scholarship; only one wins. Don't be discouraged. Be proud to win, even if it's just one win among countless attempts.

  • Type some generic information about yourself in order to prepare for scholarship searches. For example, write a short essay explaining your career goals and educational aspirations. Include explanations about your need for financial aid. Also, type a list of school activities and a list of community service, organized by grade level. Save all lists and essays on a computer disk for easy revision throughout the school year. Bold headings (such as Career Goals, School Activities, Community Service, and Financial Need) are helpful to scholarship committee members.


Hints for Completing Scholarship Applications

  • If possible, type scholarship applications so that they will be attractive and easy to read. If you are unable to type applications, neatly complete applications, using an ink color specified in the directions. If an ink color is not specified, use blue or black ink.

  • Answer all questions on scholarship forms.

  • Follow all directions precisely.

  • Include any additional information which will be helpful to the scholarship committee unless attachments are prohibited.

  • If neither of your parents attended college, then you are a first-generation college student. Be sure to mention this in your scholarship essay if it applies to you.

  • If you are not an only child, mention the number of brothers and sisters that you have in your scholarship essay. If two or more children will be attending college at the same time, mention that fact in your scholarship essay.

  • If your family has unusual medical bills or expenses, explain the circumstances in your scholarship essay.

  • Proofread applications. Correct all spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

  • Submit applications early. Do not wait until the deadline.

  • Remember to be persistent. You can't obtain scholarships if you never complete applications.

  • Mail thank-you notes to local organizations which give you scholarships.


  • Grants and Scholarships

    • Grants and scholarships are gifts of money.

    • Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid.

  • Loans

    • Loans involve borrowed money.

    • Loans must be repaid.

  • Work-study

    • Work-study money is earned through part-time work. Jobs are arranged by college employees in charge of the work-study program.

    • Students may keep work-study money or apply it toward tuition or other college costs.


  • Beware of scholarship scams. Do not deal with companies which promise or "guarantee" scholarship money.

  • Do not pay for scholarship information. It is readily available free of charge.

  • Avoid applying for scholarships that require you to pay processing fees.

  • Do not believe telephone callers who claim that you are a finalist or a winner of a scholarship for which you never applied.

  • Do not give your credit card or bank account number to the caller in order to "hold" your scholarship.

This site is supported solely by Pittsylvania County Schools:  www.pcs.k12.va.us  
Last update: Thursday, June 30, 2016 08:48 AM