PREPARING FOR COLLEGE
Call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) for a free book on financial aid called "The Student Guide."
Do a search on "college financial aid" on Google or another internet search engine.
Remember there are 2 types of scholarships -- need-based and merit-based.
Call the college financial office where your child will be attending and inquire about their scholarship and grant information.
By December of the student's senior year, fill in a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. It's an application for all types of aid -- federal, state and college. These are available at the college your student is considering or by calling 1-800-433-3243. You may also go online to complete the form and "sign" it with a special pin number at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Grants and scholarships are gifts and do not need to be repaid.
KINDS OF FEDERAL AID AVAILABLE
Federal Pell Grant - This is based on economic need. The maximum Pell Grant in 2005 was $4,050.
SEOG - Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant for especially needy students.
Federal Work-Study - This program provides jobs for students who need help paying for college.
Federal Perkins Loan - A low-interest loan for students with exceptional financial need that does not accrue interest while the student is in college.
Federal Stafford Loan - This loan can be borrowed from the federal government through the Direct Loan Program or from a bank or credit union. Interest rates vary from year to year.
Federal PLUS Loan - These loans are for the parents. They do not have to demonstrate financial need to qualify, just a good credit history.
Saginaw Community Foundation
A new, web-based, electronic scholarship application for students attending college or vocational school in the fall of 2011.
To access the online application, go to www.saginawfoundation.org
The grant application deadlines are February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1. The monies will be available for use during the 2011-2012 academic year.
Most colleges require students to have taken the SAT and/or ACT for admission. There are many resources you can use as you begin the test preparation process. You may find help online at official websites. The internet also provides access to test study guides and practice tests. Go to www.testpreview.com for more information.
What you need to do during high school to prepare and to apply for college:
All four years of high school:
(1) Pray for God’s guidance.
(2) Take a variety of classes, including difficult classes in math and science all four years. Don’t give yourself a break in your senior year.
(3) Be involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities such as sports, yearbook, drama, music, fine arts, and youth groups. This will help you determine who you are and it will also help you to be well-rounded.
(4) Volunteer in your local church, mentor younger kids in the school, and be helpful at home.
(5) Begin looking for financial aid.
(1) Pray for God’s guidance for your career.
(2) Meet with your parents, a favorite teacher, and your pastor to think about your career choices. Try to find a good fit for your interests and talents.
(3) Start finding out specifics about the colleges you like.
(4) Take the SAT or the ACT.
(5) Plan a college visit.
(1) Take the “tough” classes.
(2) Have teachers, employers, and pastors write recommendations for you.
(3) Work on your application essays.
(4) Send in transcripts.
(5) Have a teacher read over your essays.
(6) Apply for college.
(7) Finalize your financial aid.