FAFSA, Scholarship, and Financial Aid
Teamwork is Key
On Sunday, January 29, 2012 I presented a FAFSA, Scholarships, and Financial Aid workshop at Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta, Georgia. Joining me in the presentation was Tyrone Smith of Pathway Educational Service. Due to the enormous amount of information presented during the workshop, I have highlighted some of the critical areas of information, together with links to important websites. As illustrated on the above slide, the financial aid opportunities that high school seniors have, is largely reflective of the broad range of planning and support received throughout their elementary-through-high school journey:
- How effectively did they research the colleges they applied to?
- Did they prepare a quality application package?
- Did they have access to mentors and guidance counselors?
- Did they write impressive college and scholarship essays?
- Were they involved in impressive leadership activities?
- Were they well prepared for interviews?
- Did they perform well academically and were they well-prepared for their SAT or ACT exams?
These are some of the many areas of support and guidance that we have provided to students to prepare them for college admission and for identifying the necessary financial support to pay for college.
Research Your Colleges
Take advantage of the many opportunities to research the colleges and universities you are applying to. Beginning with the colleges’ website, identify such important information as:
- Financial aid policies, e.g., need-based, institutional grants and scholarships
- Financial aid deadlines and requirements, i.e., FAFSA, CSS Financial Profile, institutional scholarships
- Tuition, room and board, and fees
Websites and free assistance that will assist with your research:
- CSS/Financial Aid Profile
- Federal Title IV Programs
- Federal Help Line: 1.800.4.FED.AID
- College Research Sheet
- Inside College Listing of Need-based Colleges
- Net Price Calculator
- Georgia Student Finance Commission
- U.S. News and World Report College Rankings
Keys to Financial Aid:
- Submit your paperwork on time, even if you have to estimate
- Develop a quality scholarship package, i.e., résumé, transcript, essays, recommendation letters, awards, and community service
- Scholarships, Grants, Work-Study, Federal Loans [Private Loans—Loans of Last Resort!]