A high level of uncertainty is unsettling, but doesn’t mean there aren’t options. High school seniors, especially, are wondering what’s next. There are questions like, what if I can’t attend college out-of-state next year, and what if my family’s finances have changed since I applied? For juniors, there are concerns about standardized testing, and what post-high school plan makes the most sense. There are resources available to help students and their families navigate each of these important topics.
FAFSA & FSA ID
Any graduating senior who hasn’t yet finished a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should know it’s not too late. FAFSA submissions and financial aid decisions continue on a rolling basis. For high school students who are thinking about any kind of post-graduation education, FAFSA is a must. In fact, it is the only way most scholarships and aid packages are determined. It’s ok if you fill it out and end up making other plans. The important thing is to get it in and completed.
If you are unsure about the steps to finish your FAFSA, click here to view a free online tutorial. If you think you may have started your application, but can’t find or remember your Federal Student Aid ID login information, check out this video with tips and tricks about navigating the website. Champions For Learning, a Future Ready Collier partner, prepared both of these with the sole aim of helping high school students successfully get through financial aid applications. There is also a more general video with information about who and how to contact with questions about admissions, financial aid, and relevant deadlines and date.
Local Scholarship Info
Another great local resource to research scholarships is the Community Foundation of Collier County’s Scholarship Connector. High school seniors, take note: many application deadlines have already passed, but there are still scholarships open! It’s worth bookmarking this page and reading through the information to see what might be a fit for your goals. While these scholarships are intended for seniors heading towards graduation, it’s helpful for juniors to take a look to get familiar with what’s available, so you can be ready to apply next school year.
College Admissions and Financial Aid
It’s also not too late for graduating seniors to make choices about where they will go school next year, and talk to financial aid experts about their needs. Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College are both still accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year, with remote access to admissions counselors available. If you applied for financial aid earlier in the year, but your family’s degree of need has changed, the best recommendation is to talk to a financial aid representative at your university of choice. The colleges’ first priorities are to help students succeed, and welcome your questions.
It’s natural to be worried right now, and to feel like you need guidance. The most important tip to remember is that your schools, and groups like Future Ready Collier, are there to help make the process easier. Hopefully these resources will start to help you feel more confident about your options, and your choices.