Everyone knows paying for college expenses can put a dent in your budget. But did you know scholarships can help you reduce that dent? If you haven’t applied for scholarships yet, now’s the time. It’s recommended that high school seniors apply for two to three scholarships per week and high school juniors should apply for one or more per week. There are scholarships available for students of all ages, but you won’t receive scholarship money unless you apply for it!
With the holiday break approaching, use some of your free time to get motivated and intensify your search. Explore these resources:
While it may be true that submitting your FAFSA can make you want to scream, completing the form is now easier than ever. Don’t believe us? Here are some examples.
Paper vs. electronic
Any counselor or teacher who was around to see the original release of the first Halloween movie, will tell you they had to submit their FAFSA on paper. EEK! Imagine having to wait longer than a vampire’s lifespan for your FAFSA to make it to Illinois via snail mail, only to have it returned to you two or three weeks later with a list of errors that need to be corrected before re-mailing the form! Today, the online FAFSA can be processed and corrected in just a few days.
Worksheets vs. built-in formulas
Back in the day, there were additional worksheets that had to be completed by many FAFSA filers (anybody out there remember Worksheets A, B & C?). Those have been eliminated by fine-tuning the financial aid process.
PIN vs. FSA ID
The newest improvement to the FAFSA process is the switch from a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) to the Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID) system used to sign the FAFSA electronically. We’re all familiar with user IDs and passwords, and this new method is more secure and equally user-friendly. If you used a PIN on your FAFSA last year, you’ll be given step-by-step instructions for switching over to a new FSA ID when you submit your 2016-17 form. If you’d like to create your new FSA ID before you begin the application, visit fsaid.ed.gov.
The moral of the story here is not to be discouraged by the way things used to be. When it comes to college preparation and FAFSA completion, things have changed for the better. To stay up-to-date on the latest college planning news and tips, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/UCanGo2.
Are you looking for scholarships? How about tips for preparing for college? Visit us at Facebook.com/UCanGo2 and “Like” our page to receive college planning tips and tools, as well as scholarships, right in your news feed!
We’re pleased to announce we’ve redesigned our website at UCanGo2.org! The refreshed look and enhanced navigation are designed to help students and parents quickly find the information they need to plan, prepare and pay for college.
Be sure to check out our scholarship section to find our scholarship of the week and to search for scholarships by deadline or category.
High school students: Are you counting the days until your school year is over? Of course you are! But don’t let your summer bliss distract you from one very important deadline. Students in the 8th, 9th or 10th grade must submit their Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship applications by June 30, 2015.
Sophomores, June 30 is your final deadline. Any application not submitted by this deadline will be removed from the application system, and you could miss out on thousands of dollars in scholarship funds that do not have to be paid back. Don’t make this costly mistake! Submit your application right away.
To learn more about Oklahoma’s Promise and the qualifications for receiving the scholarship, visit OKPromise.org.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find that pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow to help you pay for college? As luck would have it, a free ride to college just isn’t in the cards for most folks. Your next best bet is to submit the Free Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). By submitting the FAFSA, you’re able to determine how much federal and state aid you may be eligible to receive to help pay for college.
Already submitted the FAFSA? It’s never too late to start applying for scholarships. Be sure to take advantage of the helpful information provided in UCanGo2’s Scholarship Success Guide to help you as you go.
As the parent of a high school senior, you know your child will soon learn what it means to lead an independent life. However, when it comes to completing the FAFSA, unless they answer “yes” to any of the questions regarding student dependency, they’re probably considered “dependent” on your finances (though special circumstances may apply).
We understand the reservations you may have about providing sensitive information on the FAFSA; especially when submitting it electronically. However, refusing to complete your part of the FAFSA for your dependent student could prevent your senior from getting financial aid to help pay for college.
Keep in mind that electronic completion of the FAFSA can save you time and help prevent errors. And, FAFSA.gov goes to great lengths to secure your information. But, if you are uncomfortable with submitting your personal information online, you do have the option to mail a paper copy of the form. However you choose to submit the FAFSA, be sure to do so as soon as possible after Oct. 1 to help maximize your child’s potential sources of financial aid.
We’ve been busy updating our FAFSA tools to provide you with the most up-to-date information available. Check out our resources section to find helpful websites, updated publications and our video tutorial that shows you how to complete the FAFSA in five steps (available in English and Spanish).
True or False? Nearly everyone who submits a FAFSA qualifies for some type of financial aid. (Answer: True!)
True or False? When it comes to financial aid, it’s best to keep all savings accounts under the student’s name. (Answer: False. The FAFSA uses a larger percentage of student income and assets when determining Expected Family Contribution (EFC), so it’s best to keep all savings accounts in your parents’ names, if possible.)
True or False? Males age 18-25 must be registered with Selective Service to receive federal financial aid. (Answer: True. Registration is available on the FAFSA.)
These and many other key facts about the FAFSA are listed on our FAFSA Facts flyer. Visit the resources section to find this flyer and other helpful resources.
What you need to know about submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid