So, you’re getting ready to graduate this year and you have your eyes set on continuing your education. That’s fantastic news! Having your high school diploma opens more doors than you would ever have imagined if you didn’t have one, but furthering your education and going into a trade school, community college, or university will allow you to enter your chosen career path and move up the ladder as your performance allows. While everyone wants to go to college, only a fraction of the United States population has the money to pay for it without help. If you have your sights set on college and want to do it without breaking the bank for life, read on!
THE MOST CRUCIAL THING YOU CAN DO IS FILE A FAFSA.
The FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is the form you must fill out if you wish to get your hands on some of the federal aid that is dedicated to students pursuing their higher education. Once you complete the FAFSA, colleges and the U.S. Department of Education analyze your need for financial aid, and they determine how much financial assistance you need. Financial aid comes in various forms from loans (money you borrow at a low interest rate and are held responsible to pay back), grants (“free” money), and work-study positions (you work a job to pay off the money given to you to use for school).
To start, make sure you are indeed using the correct website to complete the FAFSA. The correct website is www.fafsa.gov. Don’t fall victim to sites that appear to be legit but are just charging you money for completing a fake application. When you complete the real FAFSA, they will never charge a fee. Application deadlines may vary state to state and depend on what school year you will need the assistance so check the website to make sure you are completing the application on time, or early if you want to get considered for all the options. Make sure every field is completed and if you are stuck on what they are asking you to provide, take a moment to read the directions before you submit. If you completed something incorrectly and need to resubmit, you run the risk of missing the deadline, not to mention many funds that are already given out.
As you are selecting which schools will see your FAFSA information, feel free to choose as many schools as you’d like. It’s free to send your information to as many schools as you chose so do so liberally. Financial aid offices within each school use the FAFSA information you provided to put together your financial aid packet, which is why it’s very important that you list what schools should receive your FAFSA information (up to 10 schools may receive your information). Each school has a code that will need to be input on the form. You can find the codes to all schools by clicking here.
Keep in mind that while filling out the FAFSA can be challenging, there are staff members and people just a phone calls away that can help you. You’ll have to fill one out each year you’re in school so it’s best you learn how to do it now. We wish you the best of luck as you get ready to depart from My Virtual Academy as a graduate. We are so proud of all you have accomplished!
If you are considering a trade school or college, but still need to obtain your high school diploma My Virtual Academy has a variety of tuition free programs to help get you there. Check out our website, follow us on Facebook, or give us a call directly at 800-297-2119 for more information.