This is 4 of 6 articles in a series to promote the importance of Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP) process and the school counselor’s role in guiding all students through this process
HERRERA, M.A. LSC
SLV BOCES Counselor Corp Grant
Financial Aid – Let’s get started! Don’t forget the FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Knowing the basics of what financial aid consists of will help high school seniors and their parents/guardians understand the importance of working on a “financial aid” packet for the college/program of their choice. In order to receive financial aid; be sure to check requirements of the college/program you will be attending. Your school counselor can help you with this process, so set an appointment and get started.
Parents who have already graduated a child/ren this is “DEJA VU”. Yet, it is still very important to talk with your child/ren’s school counselor and the college/program your child/ren will be attending as financial aid policies and tuition rates do change time to time.
Determining Eligibility for Financial Aid:
There are two types of eligibility: 1) needs based and 2) merit based. With both a student still needs to fill out the FASFA report to ensure he/she is eligible for federal grants and/or work-study.
Needs based eligibility is determined by the EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) which is determined in the completed FASFA.
Example - If the college costs are $11,000 per school year the FASFA report with the use of your income tax, determines the family contribution is estimated at $3,000. Well, this is where SCHOLARSHIPS come in. Please fill out as many scholarships as you are able to each day. The more scholarship applications handed in the better chance to be picked/earn monies to help with the $3,000 EFC the student needs to come up with. Again, your school counselor will have valuable information of where scholarship websites such as scholarships.com, fastweb.com, and etc…. RESEARCH these sites.
Merit based eligibility is offered through colleges/programs, and/or private organizations. Merit is usually based on such things as a student’s grades and/or test scores, a talent such as musical, art, athletics, agriculture, math, science, engineering, education or leadership skills. There are local and state, and national merit scholarships your school counselor and you can discuss. Many merit based have set requirements of students being nominated by a teacher, principal, school counselor, or representative from a private organization. Find out the requirements to apply for one.
Other forms of financial aid are 1) scholarships, 2) work-study, and 3) student loans (make sure to borrow responsibly and understand the requirements of repayments after graduation. Discuss with your parents/guardians at all times any form of financial aid you as a student will be utilizing.)
College in Colorado website has a Financial Aid tab and within there is all this information mentioned and much more regarding financial aid.
Adams State University does offer to all San Luis Valley parents and students help with filling out your FASFA. Call the One Stop at 587-7306 and make an appointment to get this done. Make sure to bring all required documentation for the FASFA form. Adams State financial aid representative could also go to your school and help students/parents fill out the FASFA. Talk with your school counselor to see when/if this has been set up.
Finally, don’t be shy about applying for any form of financial aid. Be sure to review and understand eligibility requirements per college/program you have chosen to attend. Find out the “real cost” to attend that college/program you are attending and see what financial aid they have to offer as well.
As always, utilize your school counselor’s expertise to walk with you through the financial aid process.
Information taken from College in Colorado.org
Adams State University- Financial aid office