dream big scholarship

Up to $3,500 Scholarship

Available to Eligible Columbus City Schools High School Seniors.



Minimum Criteria

  • 2.75 or higher cumulative high school GPA
  • 2022 Graduate of Columbus City Schools
  • Federal Pell Grant Eligible
  • Enrolling in college full-time immediately following high school graduation
  • Completion of IKIC college access milestones
    • Two or more college applications submitted
    • Three or more one-on-one IKIC advising sessions
    • 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion

Supporting Documents Needed

  • A PDF of your 2023-24 FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • A PDF of your unofficial high school transcript

what you should know

  • Students are eligible to receive only ONE of IKIC’s funding opportunities (IKIC Grant, Dream Big Scholarship, or Founders’ Scholarship) and/or Columbus Promise scholarship
  • Students submitting this application will NOT need to submit the IKIC Grant application
  • Recipients must have unmet need determined by the financial aid award letter of the intended institution to receive this scholarship
  • Students may renew the scholarship for up to four years (two years at a two-year institution).
  • Students must re-apply for the scholarship each year
  • Remember to complete and submit the FAFSA prior to the scholarship deadline!


If you are selected for and accept this scholarship, you will need to participate in all the required workshops, communications, and evaluation measures requested and presented by I Know I Can. Furthermore, this is a pilot scholarship program, whose terms and conditions may change from year-to-year.



  • What is a financial aid award letter?
    • A financial aid award letter shows the grants, scholarships, and loans that your college has awarded you. You may have received a paper copy or it may have been sent electronically, either by e-mail or on your college’s student access website.
    • If you have trouble finding it, please contact the financial aid office at your college.
    • NOTE: The financial aid award letter is different from the FAFSA Student Aid Report.
  • How much is the Dream Big Scholarship worth?
    • The Dream Big Scholarship is worth up to $3,500.
  • How is the Dream Big Scholarship dispersed?
    • The Dream Big Scholarship is sent in two payments. You will receive up to $1,750 in the fall semester and up to $1,750 in the spring semester, provided you are enrolled full-time.
  • How will I know when the Dream Big Scholarship has been received by my college?
    • You will see a credit on your account when the Dream Big Scholarship has been received and processed by your college. Depending on how your college processes payments, it may not be specifically listed as Dream Big Scholarship.
  • Why isn’t the Dream Big Scholarship on my financial aid award letter?
    • Your college may not list the Dream Big Scholarship on the financial aid award letter unless you have informed your college that you are receiving an outside grant. You can provide a copy of your Dream Big Scholarship approval letter to your college if necessary.
    • You will still be able to receive the Dream Big Scholarship even if it is not listed on your financial aid award letter.
  • Will the Dream Big Scholarship be renewed every year?
    • Students must submit a new application for the Dream Big Scholarship each year.
    • Students may renew the scholarship for up to four years at a four-year institution, two years at a two-year institution, or until receipt of first bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first.
  • Will I receive the Dream Big Scholarship if I drop below full-time status for a term in college?
    • You must remain enrolled full-time to receive the Dream Big Scholarship. If you are not enrolled full-time, then your college will return the Dream Big Scholarship funds to IKIC.
  • What if I plan to attend an out-of-state college?
    • The Dream Big Scholarship can be used at any accredited university, college, technical school, or post-secondary program in the United States.
  • What if I transfer to a different college after my freshman year?
    • The Dream Big Scholarship can be transferred to your new college, provided it is an accredited institution in the U.S. You must notify IKIC as soon as you decide to transfer and submit a financial aid award letter from your new college.
  • Is there an appeals process?

    Students who do not meet established I Know I Can funding criteria have the opportunity to appeal on the basis of relevant, significant, and documentable extenuating circumstances for which they could not plan, influence, or prevent. The appeal committee will review your completed appeal and notify you of the results via email.  Please note the IKIC Appeal committee will NOT make appeal decisions before August 1st.  Incomplete appeal applications will not be considered.

    Follow this link to apply for an appeal: IKIC Funding Appeal Form (jotform.com)

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