Attention, Collier County graduating high school seniors! It may feel like the school year only just begun, but now is the perfect time to think ahead so that when graduation comes you’re ready for what’s next. Specifically, now is the time to prepare and then apply for financial aid for college or other post-high school. Starting on October 1, you can go online to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You might have heard it referred to by its acronym, FAFSA, and it’s the quickest, best, and surest way for students to get money for school.
Maybe you’ve dreamed your whole life of going to college to become a businessperson or scientist. Maybe you have big plans to open a chain of salons or IT companies. Maybe you’re not sure you want or need to continue with school, and would rather head straight into the workforce. Whatever your plans, hopes, or expectations, completing the FAFSA well before the end of the school year gives you the most choices.
There are a few steps to completing the FAFSA, but there is plenty of help available. If you need help, you can start by attending one of three upcoming free, in-person events in Collier County. Financial aid professionals will be there to explain how FAFSA works and how to fill it out. Admissions representatives from Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW), Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), and Lorenzo Walker Technical College (LWTC) will also be there, providing admission application waivers. FSW and LWTC will also be offering instant decisions. For those needing Spanish and Creole translation services, that support will be offered. Check out the included flyer for more details, and mark your calendars for one the following three dates:
- Saturday, October 1, 2022, at Lely High (1 Lely High School Blvd), from 9am to 12pm
- Saturday, October 8, 2022, at Palmetto Ridge High (1655 Victory Lane), from 9am to 12pm
- Saturday, October 22, 2022, at Lorenzo Walker Technical High (3702 Estey Avenue), from 9am to 12pm
These events are free and open to students of any age who intend to attend college or other postsecondary school in the following school year. Remember, the FAFSA is an annual application, so even if you’re already in college, you need to fill it out again for the next year. At least a few days before you intend to complete the FAFSA itself, make sure you’ve gone online to get your FSA ID. This piece of information will allow you to prepare the FAFSA submission. Champions For Learning has prepared free, online video tutorials to explain the FSA ID process, and how to fill out the FAFSA. There are videos about FAFSA completion in English and Spanish.
Keep in mind other ways to apply for financial aid and scholarship. Remember that the FAFSA website opens on October 1, and on November 1 you can also review scholarships offered through the Collier Scholars Common Application. These applications are offered through the Collier Community Foundation, and there are many different opportunities to read through to see if you qualify. Just like with the FAFSA, there is information you’ll need to have gathered or prepared ahead of time. So, now’s the moment to begin to plan to give yourself the most options and opportunities.
If you have any questions about how to access and use any of the resources described above, please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Future Ready Collier is here to help students and families get the help they need to succeed in education in order to succeed in all things.