What is the AIMS Higher Scholarship?
The MECC AIMS Higher Scholarship encourages Virginia-resident high school students in Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton to complete a challenging curriculum, and to pursue higher education. Graduating High School students who meet the requirements of the AIMS Scholars (Virginia Scholars) program will have the opportunity to attend up to two years (72 semester credits) of college without paying any tuition or fees out of pocket.
The MECC AIMS Higher Scholarship will fill the financial aid gaps for new high school graduates who receive financial aid that is less than the cost of tuition and fees, or who fail to qualify for any financial aid. For example, if tuition is $1,800 for the year and the student receives other scholarships or grants totaling $500, the AIMS Higher Scholarship for the year will be $1300. AIMS covers tuition only… no textbooks. Students who receive the AIMS Higher Scholarship must attend full time (at least 12 credits per fall and spring semester) and complete their coursework within three years. To continue receiving the AIMS Higher Scholarship while at MECC, a student must maintain a 2.0 overall grade point average and a 2.0 semester average each semester of attendance.
The MECC AIMS Higher Scholarships are being funded by the Tobacco Commission and donors to the MECC Foundation.
What are the academic, attendance, and community service requirements to qualify for the MECC AIMS Higher Scholarship?
High Schools are not required to participate in the AIMS Scholars (Virginia Scholars) programs for the graduating senior to qualify. Students must achieve a grade of at least “C” or better in each of the 17 approved high school courses, maintain a 95% school attendance rate throughout high school, have no out of school suspensions, and complete 20 hours of community service over a 4-year period. Required courses include 4 credits of English (includes Applied Technical Communications), 4 credits of mathematics (Algebra I plus three additional higher mathematics. Algebra I parts 1 and 2 counts as only one course), 3 credits of lab science (biology, chemistry, physics, earth science), 3 credits of social studies (history, government, geography, economics), 2 credits of a single foreign language or two technical courses in the same track, and 1 computer related course (personal computing, software, tools, Programming I and II, computer keyboarding, spreadsheet applications, automated accounting, office technology, information systems, CADD (Drafting courses using computers). All requirements (coursework and community service) must be satisfied by the date of the student’s high school graduation. All coursework requirements must appear on the high school transcript.
The student must attend MECC the fall semester immediately following high school graduation. Students who attend another college prior to enrolling full-time at MECC are no longer eligible for the MECC AIMS Higher Scholarship.
How can a student apply for the MECC AIMS Higher Scholarship?
MECC AIMS Higher Scholarship applications are available each year in January only from the MECC Financial Aid Office and at financial aid workshops to be conducted by MECC at all high schools between January and May. The scholarship application will include two components: a section to be completed by the student (which must include the Free Application for Federal Student Aid –FAFSA), and a section to be completed by the high school guidance counselor. The student section of the application must be fully completed and submitted to the MECC Financial Aid Office by April 15. Scholarship awards are only final upon certification by the high school guidance counselor that all AIMS Scholars (Virginia Scholars) program requirements have been met by the day of high school graduation. Students must complete a FAFSA listing the MECC School Code (009629) and mail it for processing by April 15 of each year they wish to receive the AIMS Higher Scholarship. Failure to submit the FAFSA by the deadline in any future year will void eligibility for scholarship renewal.
For more information, please refer to the AIMS Brochure and the AIMS FAQ.
Click Here to Complete the AIMS Scholarship Application