You’ve Completed the FAFSA. Now What?

Congratulations! You’ve completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submitted it for processing, so now you’re wondering what happens next. Here are a few suggestions for what you can do while waiting to hear from the colleges to which you sent your FAFSA.

Apply for Scholarships:

While you’re waiting for correspondence regarding your FAFSA, you should apply for as many scholarships as possible. Visit UCanGo2.org to find a list of available scholarships sorted by deadline and category. We recommend that seniors apply for two to three scholarships a week.

OKcollegestart.org also offers a database of over 20,000 scholarships. Students can set up a profile and provide answers to numerous questions that will narrow down the results to scholarships that you’re eligible to apply for. Check it out now!

Check your Admission Status:

Make sure to visit with the admission office at the colleges to which you’ve applied and ask about your current admission status. Even if you’ve already been accepted, the college may request additional information or have important next steps for you to complete. We recommend you keep in contact with the college’s Admission office consistently to guarantee you don’t miss any deadlines or requirements.

Look at Housing Options:

When you decide which college you’ll attend, you’ll need somewhere to live. Make sure to review the requirements of your college of choice. Are freshmen required to live on campus? Once you know the answer to this question, look at your housing options and the prices that are associated with them. Will it be more cost effective to live in a community style dorm or an off-campus apartment? Is the college close enough for you to live at home? It’s important to look at all your options.

Explore Majors and Careers: If you’re  undecided on a major or career choice, take this time to explore the options available at each of your favorite colleges. OKcollegestart.org provides a variety of resources that you can use to explore majors and career paths. The admission office at your college can also connect you with specific departments on campus to answer any  questions you may have about careers and majors offered.

Don’t Forget to Complete Your FAFSA!

The busiest time of the year is just around the corner. Before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins, take time to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2022-23 FAFSA opened Oct. 1, which means many students have already had the chance to successfully submit their application. Now is the time to successfully submit yours! This application allows the financial aid office at your chosen college(s) to determine your eligibility to receive many types of financial aid. While some aid does not run out, other types are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. If you submit your FAFSA too late, you may miss out on important funding. There are a few other significant reasons to submit your FAFSA now:

  • Many colleges and universities are setting early enrollment and institutional scholarship deadlines in November and December. During the application process, they’ll want to know if you’ve submitted your FAFSA.
  • It’s not uncommon for a scholarship committee to ask for a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR), which you receive after you submit the FAFSA. Completing your FAFSA early ensures that you won’t miss important deadlines.
  • It’s better to complete the FAFSA now so you can focus on other college planning tasks in the spring.
  • Since you’ll need to submit the FAFSA each year you’re in college, completing your application now allows you to become familiar with the FAFSA form for next year. If you’re in high school, take this time to ask questions about the application process with your parents and school counselor so you’ll know what to expect next fall.  

Don’t wait any longer. Complete your FAFSA today at StudentAid.gov.

National Scholarship Month

November is National Scholarship Month! That means we’re raising awareness about the numerous scholarship dollars that are available to help you cover college expenses. A 2020 study indicated there are approximately 1.7 million private scholarships and fellowships with a combined worth of over 7 billion dollars offered annually. There are numerous organizations and hundreds of websites that offer scholarships to students preparing for college, it just takes a little effort and determination to apply for as many as you can. To assist you in putting your best foot forward, here are a few tips to help you submit excellent scholarship applications:

  • Follow directions. It’s important to read all scholarship instructions carefully before starting the application. If there is a word count to abide by, be sure to meet the requirements. Also, submit all necessary documents. Ask for letters of recommendation, copies of your transcript and other documentation weeks before the scholarship deadline.
  • Be creative.  Think outside the box on scholarship questions. Be creative and original when writing your essay responses. If you’re asked why you deserve the scholarship, explain why it’s important for you to go to college. Talk about your academic and career goals, as well as the challenges you’ve overcome to reach those goals. Also, tell a story only you can tell. Discuss your involvement with a school organization or a part-time job and describe the skills you’ve gained from those opportunities. Remember that with every experience you’ve encountered, you’ve learned something. Use those learned lessons to fuel your essay responses.
  • Proofread your work. Completing a scholarship application can feel very rewarding; however, it’s only the first step. Proofreading is the next crucial stage in this process. Read your scholarship essay aloud to see if you need to make any adjustments. Also, ask a non-relative, such as a teacher or counselor, to read your essay – and be open to the constructive criticism they give you.
  • Find options that reflect your interests. Applying for scholarships can seem like a lot of work. Yet, if you find scholarships that are interesting to you, the application process can be enjoyable. Search for opportunities that align with your passions. Then writing essays and creating scholarship videos will be fun and exciting, instead of time consuming and tedious.
  • Never give up! Don’t get discouraged when you don’t receive a scholarship award; just keep applying. Your persistence will win out in the end. Keep searching for unique scholarships. Ask local businesses and churches about scholarship opportunities, as well as your current education institution. The goal of scholarships is to assist you with covering the costs of college. The more scholarships you apply for, the more likely you are to gain that extra assistance. To learn more about scholarships or to search for interesting opportunities, check out our Scholarship Success Guide or go to UCanGo2.org and OKcollegestart.org.