Category Archives: Financial Aid

Too Late to Change Fall Plans?

It’s late July and all your friends are busy prepping for their first semester at college, while you are still trying to find a job or working in a job you know you don’t want to spend years at. You are beginning to regret not applying to college and are wondering if it is too late.

If this is your situation, know that you still have options for attending college in the fall.

First be aware that many colleges public and private, have Rolling Admissions. Rolling Admissions means that the institution accepts applications generally through the first two weeks of the semester. However, if you are looking for on-campus housing, acceptance in to a highly competitive program, or need significant financial aid, you will probably be out of luck.

That being said, you should talk to an admission counselor, financial aid counselor, or your private college planner as soon as possible.

Here are some tips to help you get into college this fall.

Apply as soon as possible for admissions and financial aid. The sooner you complete the application process, the sooner they can review and accept your application.

Find out if you need SAT or ACT scores. You may not need either if applying to a community college.

If you can’t decide on a major, consider General Studies or Liberal Arts. This particularly true if you need financial aid, as you must be enrolled in a degree or certificate program to be eligible for financial aid.

If you can’t afford to attend full time, take a course or two (whatever you can afford). Then you can take your time and work with a college planner to outline a plan to start fulltime in the Spring term or the next academic year.

Even taking a course or two at a local two year or four state college, can be used to your advantage when applying to college or university you want to attend full time. It shows you are: 1) capable of college level work and 2) you can manage your time effectively, especially if you are balancing work and school.

So take heart, you still have options if you want to start college this fall. Now get moving!! And good luck.

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FAFSA 2016-2017 IS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

The holidays have ended and high school students are back at school. Seniors are awaiting their acceptance letters or finishing up last minute admissions applications. But that does not mean that the college planning workload is over. In fact the second phase of the process has just gotten underway. The FAFSA became available January 1st.

These tips will make he process smoother for students and parents.

1. Know the deadlines for filing for financial aid for es h college you apply to for admissions. Generally they are anywhere from February 1st to March 1st.

2. The student AND one parent must apply for a FAFSSA ID at FAFSA.ed.gov before you can complete the inline application.

3. If you do not have you W-2s or your federal tax teturn completed for 2015, estimate with your last pay stub for 2015. If your income is fairly consistent estimate based on your 2014 federal tax returns. You WILL need to update the application once your 2015 tax returns are filed.

4. Keep a file with all documents and correspondence from the financial aid offices you are dealing with.

5. Be sure to print the students’s name and social security number on any documents submitted, especially if the student’s last name is different then the parent’s.

6. If you have an usual family situation —loss of a job, foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce/separation or death of a parent, contact each individual college AFTER the FAFSA is submitted to ask what their Professional Judgement or Appeal Process is.

7. Read your Award Letter carefully. Know what action you must take. Do you need to accept and return a copy of the award letter? Do you need to complete a Federal Student Loan Promissory Note online? Do you need to complete a Student Loan Entrance Interview?

Follow these tips and you should have a little trouble with applying and receiving financial aid for which you are eligible.