As high school juniors begin to research colleges and build a college list, they should also research financial aid opportunities. Here’s a checklist of steps that juniors should undertake before September of their senior year.
Learn about types of financial aid: There are many different resources to help you understand the basics of financial aid. See the College Board’s post Financial Aid Can Help You Afford College, the Federal Student Aid website, or past Financial Aid Friday posts on DCPS College Talk. FinAid.org is another great source to learn about types of financial aid.
Start exploring college net price calculators: A net price calculator can help a student and their parents/guardians get a sense of out of pocket college expenses, based on financial information provided by the family. See our post on net price vs. sticker price for further details. You can also compare information for selected colleges’ net price calculators on CollegeAbacus.com.
Make a list of your interests, strengths, and passions: What do you like to do? What do you enjoy learning? What activities do you do outside of class? Making an inventory of your interests and achievements can help you identify potential scholarships.
Start researching scholarships: Check out our weekly highlighted scholarships and follow DCPS College Prep on Twitter for the Scholarship of the Day. FinAid.org and FastWeb.com have national scholarship search services. Naviance Family Connection, an online portal to search for and apply to colleges, is available to every DCPS student and also has scholarship search capabilities. Ask your school counselor about accessing Naviance.
Attend the DCPS College Readiness Workshop on June 15 at University of the District of Columbia: On June 15, 2013 from 9:30 am – 2:30 pm, college admissions officers and financial aid representatives from the nation’s most selective colleges and universities will join the DCPS College Readiness Initiative team at University of the District of Columbia to lead workshops on the college admissions process and applying for financial aid. There will also be a college fair where families can speak to college admissions officers directly. Get more details about the day and register online here.
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