Archive for November, 2020

Why Should You Fill Out the FAFSA?

November 18, 2020

Many families do not realize that it is time to apply for financial aid and scholarships. Most students are relieved to be finishing with their college applications and the thought of filling out more forms is the last thing on their minds. Families will not receive financial aid if they 
do not ask for it. Some families may not have financial need, but circumstances can change.The FAFSA is the first step to ask for financial aid. And if you have no already applied, it is the time to do it.

FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an online form which determines which students are eligible for federal financial assistance. No one should be intimidated by the FAFSA form and everyone who feels that might qualify for federal, state, or institutional grants or loans should definitely apply.

Applying for financial aid is not as overwhelming as it used to be, but it does require time and accurate answers to allow the government to determine what your Expected Family Contribution toward college will be. This is known as your EFC. The FAFSA form is filled out by the parents of prospective and continuing students on an annual basis. Read the instructions carefully. The name on your Social Security card is the same name you should use on the FAFSA. Make all of your corrections online. If an answer applies to you, it should not be left blank.

Since financial aid is often given out on a first come, first served basis, it is important to fill as the FAFSA form as soon as you can. The form for the 2021-22 school year is now available online.. The amount of financial aid a student receives is based on your previous year’s tax return. Every state and college or university has a specific deadline for the FAFSA form to be submitted. The federal deadline is June 30, but the state and school deadlines can be as early as February 15. Most college websites list the deadline for their schools.

Paying for college is one of the biggest concerns parents have today. Last year more than 80% of the parents who had students applying or returning to college filled out the FAFSA form. You have nothing to lose by filling out the free form and some families are pleasantly surprised that they actually qualify for at least some financial assistance. Every little bit helps.


The College Essay-What Do Colleges Look For?

November 2, 2020

The personal statement or college essay is your opportunity to discuss anything that is not reflected in another part of your college application. Are there questions that college admission officers might want to ask you after reading your application? Universities like to see examples and evidence of what you have done in your life and how you will contribute to their college community.

The personal statement gives you the chance to write about yourself. Writing about yourself can be tough, but once you get a grasp on how to write a good personal statement, you will have no problem. College admissions officers want to know about your goals and values and what you have learned from your experiences. They are looking for students who are mature, honest, sincere and self-motivated.

Students frequently look at the college essay prompts and cannot imagine where to begin. The important thing is to put down some ideas and brainstorm what you could say about each of them. When answering the personal statement questions, it is important to show, not tell. Find stories from your experiences that will illustrate these ideas. This provides you a chance to reveal your personality, insight, and commitment. The danger is that it is open-ended, so you need to focus

College admissions officers may have hundreds of college essays to shift through, so making yours unique gives them something fresh to read and a renewed interest in finding out more about you. It is always a good idea to mention a few statements about the school you are applying to and why you are interested in attending.

If they ask a specific question, make sure you adequately answer that question. If they list a specific length requirement, make sure you are within its limits. The questions may be similar, but the intent behind them could be completely different. Give a sincere effort and find out what the college is looking for with their questions and answer them all as if it is the only school you are applying to.

Composing a college essay can be intimidating, so I encourage you to begin well before the deadline in order to take pressure off yourself and improve the quality of the final draft. Read the application instructions carefully. Have someone else read the personal statement for clarity and grammar. Have someone who does not know you well read the essay for content and interest. Most importantly, draft and revise until you are satisfied.

Finally, remember that a personal statement is about you. It should not be a laundry list of your accomplishments, but more events that have shaped your interests, attitudes, and academic focus. This is your opportunity to sell yourself and improve your chances for college admissions.

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