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1 Welcome to [Site name]

2 Tonight s program

3 At the end of the evening We ll collect evaluations for tonight s event Even better, we ll hold a scholarship drawing We ll select three $500 scholarship winners (you must be present to win) 3

4 How college can change your life

5 How college can change your life Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela Source: Durando, Jessica. 15 of Nelson Mandela s best quotes. USA Today. December 6,

6 Importance of a college degree 6

7 College is important People who have attended some college Report higher levels of job satisfaction Typically live healthier lifestyles Enjoy benefits such as insurance, paid vacation, a retirement plan, etc. Are more involved in their communities through higher levels of volunteering and voting It s true college is important! 7

8 Choosing the right college

9 What are your goals? Some students already know they want to Learn a trade or enter a specific profession Obtain a degree, maybe in a specific field Not sure about your goals? College is a great place to explore your options Goals can change while researching colleges About 80% of college students change their major at least once 9

10 Choosing a college Narrow down your list of potential colleges by identifying the characteristics important to you Program or major you are considering College size, class size Location or distance from home Campus culture, support programs, extracurricular activities Cost of attendance Ultimately cost matters, but Think about cost when making your final decision, not when starting your search Consider your net out-of-pocket cost, not the sticker price 10

11 Opportunities page 5 11

12 Researching college choices Parents and school counselors can help There are many college search websites https://niche.com New College Scorecard site for researching colleges https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/ 12

13 College application process There are many things you can do to prepare for a successful college application process The Opportunities booklet contains a checklist on pages The checklist shows steps you should take beginning the summer before your junior year through high school graduation

14 Your college applications Each college has its own requirements for completing the application process Determine college application due dates Application fees Other documents may be required 14

15 College entrance exams SAT: Critical reasoning, math and a required writing test ACT: English, math, reading, science and an optional writing test PSAT or PLAN: Practice tests for the SAT/ACT Disability accommodations and fee waivers available 15

16 Your college applications Transcripts Official high school transcript needed for each college application College transcript also required if you ve taken any college courses Transcript is used to document your GPA, class rank and the rigorousness of your high school program Many acceptances contingent on maintaining GPA Most require a final high school transcript 16

17 Your college applications References Admissions essays Other evidence of talent 17

18 Paying for college

19 Sources of college funds 2015 How the Typical Family Pays for College Average percent of total cost paid from each source Slide title 30% Scholarships & grants 5% Relatives & friends 16% Student borrowing 6% Parent borrowing 32% Parent income & savings 11% Student income & savings Source: How America Pays for College. Sallie Mae https://www.salliemae.com/plan-for-college/how-america-pays-for-college/ 19

20 Your college costs Which college would cost you the most to attend? Example private college: $55,850 Sample state college: $19,619 Cost of Attendance (COA) Consists of direct and indirect costs Direct costs are paid to the college Indirect costs could include living expenses, transportation, etc. 20

21 Your college costs COA includes direct and indirect costs Resident on campus Resident off campus Tuition and fees $5,000 $5,000 Room and board $7,500 $4,000 Books and supplies $1,200 $1,200 Transportation $1,100 $3,200 Miscellaneous $1,800 $2,000 Total cost of attendance $16,600 $15,400 21

22 Your college costs 22

23 Elite schools can be affordable 23

24 About the FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid Federal financial aid State aid Institutional aid Scholarship programs FAFSA asks you about Income Assets Family size Number of family members attending college 24

25 Cost of not filing Nationwide, 821,000 eligible students failed to complete the FAFSA, missing out on roughly $3 billion. The report says 47% of America s high school graduates forfeited the opportunity to receive Pell Grant funds in Also missed out on potential aid from the state, the college and many scholarship providers Source: Sen-Gupta, Gianna. Students leave over $2.9 billion in free money on the table. January 12,

26 Tips for FAFSA success FAFSA4caster at Provides a preview of FAFSA questions Gather documents Tax returns for parents and student W-2 forms and other income statements Benefits records from state and federal agencies Current bank statements Built-in edits make it easier to complete accurately Sign it electronically It is always FREE to complete the FASFA 26

27 Getting help with the FAFSA Super FAFSA Project Virginia = FAFSA help, information and resources to help students and families Seniors at select Virginia high schools will receive hands-on assistance in completing the FAFSA Find more information at The College Place Assistance also available at FED-AID 27

28 Navigating financial aid After completing the FAFSA, the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR) Copy of SAR is also sent to the colleges you listed on your FAFSA Correct any errors SAR contains Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Schools use this to calculate aid 28

29 Types of federal financial aid Need-based federal aid Pell Grant SEOG Work-study Perkins loan Subsidized Direct loan Non-need-based federal aid Unsubsidized Direct loan PLUS loan TEACH grant 29

30 State Grants in Virginia There are three major grant programs in Virginia Virginia Commonwealth Award VGAP Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program VTAG Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant More details on these and other Virginia financial aid programs on Pages of Virginia Opportunities booklet 30

31 Virginia grants summary Virginia Commonwealth Award VGAP VTAG Award based on Need Need and merit Attending a VA private college Eligible schools VA public colleges VA public colleges Participating VA private colleges Maximum award Up to tuition and fees Up to tuition, fees and books Approximately $3,100 Other information Neediest get largest awards Must maintain a 2.5 college GPA Must be full-time student 31

32 Understanding award letters Read your award letter carefully Meet all deadlines What if it s not enough?

33 Scholarship searches

34 Scholarships A form of gift aid money given to students that doesn t have to be repaid There are lots of different types of scholarships and can be based on: Achievements Grades Sports Nationality Being short Diligence and perseverance are great tools when applying for scholarships 34

35 Scholarship resources High school counselor College/university Family and friends Employers Religious, civic and community organizations Foundations Military Public library 35

36 Popular scholarship sites Selected legitimate sites Fastweb: College Board: Scholarships.com: Career one stop (DOL): Many other scholarship search sites, but Avoid paying a fee Keep an eye out for possible scams 36

37 How to make your essay stand out Don t just answer the essay question, consider... How have your achievements impacted you? How will obtaining a degree impact your future? How will a degree impact your community? How have others inspired you? How did they help shape your life? Have someone review your application Check spelling and grammar on ALL materials Make sure EVERYTHING is answered and accounted for Make sure that your application is presented well 37

38 Successful scholarship candidates Apply for many different scholarships Request application allowing plenty of time to complete application requirements Turn in error-free applications Follow all application directions Watch out for the fine print Keep copies of completed applications Be thankful and gracious 38

39 Helpful tips Check the deadlines Postmark or received by that date May need to provide Proof you have filed the FAFSA Essay/personal statement Letters of recommendation Examples of work in specific study area/portfolio SAT/ACT scores Transcripts Interview in-person or phone 39

40 When you win What to expect Congratulations letter keep a copy for your records High-profile scholarships may include follow ups May need to send transcripts and proof of enrollment Fulfill obligations such as thank you letters Check may be sent to you or your college College may adjust your financial aid award 40

41 Watch for scams Scam mailings often sound and look official If it sounds too good to be true, it is! Some hooks: You re guaranteed to win or your money back You can t get this information anywhere else Give us your credit card number to get started The scholarship will cost some money Winning notification via mail not by phone 41

42 We re almost there! Questions? Collect evaluations for tonight s event Select our three $500 scholarship winners 42

43 Thank you!

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