Alexandria Letter: Financial Aid And No Fee

Alexandria Letter: Financial Aid And No Fee

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Some T.C. Williams High School students have been receiving letters from private companies offering to help determine college admission and financial aid eligibility. A parent of a TC junior contacted the school for advice saying, “We received a letter informing us about an upcoming appointment for our son with the company; however, no one in our family had requested a meeting. It was confusing, so we contacted the school.”

Parents are urged to “do their homework” before scheduling an appointment with a for-profit company that offers financial aid services for a fee. Additionally, families should not have to pay or provide a credit card number to apply for scholarships or academic honors. It is a concern that families will be misled to believe they can only receive college and financial advising if they pay a fee. That is simply not the case. The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria provides all TC families with free support for completing scholarship and college applications as well as federal financial aid forms.

The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, a nonprofit organization located in T.C. Williams High School, has two dedicated college advisers, Margaret Feldman and Samantha Karp, who work with students to find the best fit college, edit college essays, help with résumés, understand the financial aid process, and more. The Scholarship Fund also offers presentations and workshops for ACPS families on Finding Free Money for College, Financial Aid 101, and Completing the FAFSA, among other programming.

The next workshop, Junior College Planning Night, will be held on May 18 in the T.C. Williams auditorium. This program is held in conjunction with the College and Career Center and the Counseling Department.

Most importantly, the Scholarship Fund awards scholarships strictly for graduates of T.C. Williams High School, the City of Alexandria’s only public high school. In 2015, the Scholarship Fund awarded $944,000 in new and renewal scholarships to 332 T.C. graduates. One in two applicants received a scholarship valued at an average amount of $2,700 and many awardees are eligible to receive a scholarship all four years of their undergraduate program. Since 1986, SFA has awarded $11.5 million in scholarships, making college dreams come true for 4,200 students.

Contact the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria at or 703-824-6730, or visit

Beth Lovain

Executive Director

Scholarship Fund of Alexandria