FAFSA – HELPFUL HINTS FOR PARENTS
Apply for the FAFSA at the FREE site www.fafsa.gov. Never pay to apply.
- Because FAFSA opened early, you will be able to utilize the prior–prior year tax information, 2015 tax information.
- You can begin your FAFSA, save it and return to it later, but no longer than 45 days.
- The parent who provided the most support for the student or whom the student lived with the most in 2016 should complete the FAFSA, no matter who claims the student on taxes.
- Your Senior’s dependency status determines whose information you must report on the FAFSA. Go to www.tinyurl.com/FAFSAdependencystatus to deter mine your Senior’s status.
- Grandparents or anyone else the student may be living with – apart from their biological or adoptive parents – are not permitted to complete the FAFSA as a parent.
- The FAFSA should only be completed by the student and/or their legal parent (s).
By completing the FAFSA, you are automatically applying for the federal Pell Grant, student Loans and the Work-Study Program as well as the state-based TOPS program. The FAFSA takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete if you and your Senior have all of the required information at hand. For your convenience, FAFSA on the Web has built-in help to guide you through the application process. Skip logic is used to guide you to answer key questions and may allow you to skip other questions and complete the form faster. You and your Senior, if classified as “dependent”, will each be required to electronically sign the FAFSA form utilizing the separate FSA ID assigned to each of you.
LOSFA Launches Texting Support for Freshmen TOPS Recipients and High School Seniors
The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) has begun sending text reminders to more than 14,000 college freshmen with tips on how to keep their TOPS awards in good standing. The service is also being used to convey important college access information to more than 5,000 high school seniors. If someone you know would like to receive these texts, have them email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "TEXT". In the message have them include their name, their school name and their mobile number.
Free CollegeGo Mobile App
Are you the first in your family to attend college? CollegeGo guides you through the essential steps to take in order to find, apply to, and attend the right college for you. With a step-by-step, interactive interface, the app uses game, video, and search features to help you plan your college journey. You can:
- Explore colleges and create a list of schools that fit you best.
- Search for scholarships and get the scoop on financial aid.
- Discover majors and careers that you may be interested in.
- And more!
And it’s all linked via your College Board account, so you can easily access your information on the app or at BigFuture.org.
The college application process is an exciting time that provides an opportunity to consider
different futures. But it’s also complicated. High school seniors fill out applications not just to
demonstrate who they are as students but also to show who they are as individuals. Colleges
evaluate applications on many characteristics that are often subjective, hard to define, and
difficult to cultivate. This guide is about getting you the information you need to put your best
foot forward no matter where you apply.
IR OPPORTUNITY PROJECT
COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS
Some seniors have already inquired about the procedure for sending off college applications and transcripts. The process is very simple. If you are applying to a public college in the state of Louisiana, you can apply online, and pay your application fee online or mail it in. You do NOT have to ask us to mail a copy of your transcript because all of the public colleges have access to your transcripts online. Some colleges do want a copy of your senior year schedule so they can see what you are taking. If you apply online, fill out a transcript request form in the counseling office and we will mail your transcript to your college. We are NOT allowed to give students an official transcript. It must be mailed to the college admissions office by the high school.
Videos to help with the FAFSA process
COLLEGE ADMISSION - The following is suggested for seniors planning to attend college after graduation.
September – Gather information on your colleges of interest. Begin finalizing a major of study. Most Louisiana colleges have selective admissions requirements. Please check on-line or meet with me to discuss the entry requirements of the school you would like to attend. Make plans to attend a preview day if possible. Sign up on-line for the ACT or SAT if interested. When registering, please make sure that you have included the TOPS code and the school codes for the colleges you are interested in attending. All colleges require an ACT and/or SAT score. Use the Internet for free scholarship searches.
October – All schools have application forms and information on-line. If you have not decided between one or more schools, you need to apply to the ones that you are interested in. Check to see what is required to apply for admission and begin working on your applications. Most charge an application fee and require that applicants submit updated immunization information. Each college has different deadlines for admission, scholarships, and financial aid. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you check on-line to get the information you need and that you submit everything that is required on time.
November – Complete college applications. Most colleges now have their applications on-line. Applications should be NEATLY completed and checked before being submitted or mailed. Most schools now have access to your transcript on-line. If you are asked to send in a transcript with your application, you may get a copy of your transcript from the counselor’s office. Once the college has processed your application, you will get a letter from the college rejecting your application or accepting you provisionally. Your acceptance will not become final until the college receives an official copy of your transcript after graduation showing that you have received a high school diploma. Your official transcript is not available until after you have graduated. Check scholarship deadlines. College scholarship applications may be found on-line.
January – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) becomes available January 1st. This is the application for federal financial aid (grants, loans, work-study) and the Louisiana Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS).
February – Complete the FAFSA form as soon as possible. No financial aid and scholarships will be offered to a student until they have applied for admission and their ACT scores have been sent to the college of his/her choice. Each school has a limited amount of certain types of financial aid money to be awarded. Students who apply for admission and send in the FAFSA form early have the best chance of receiving financial aid money if they meet the qualifications. It is recommended that students send in the FAFSA form by the beginning of March to have the best chance at receiving the maximum amount of financial aid available to them.
April – It is recommended that you file the FAFSA for the Louisiana TOPS program by July 1, 2016 so that there are no delays with your TOPS award. Make plans to complete and file the FAFSA form between January 1, 2016 and July 1, 2016.
May – Most colleges will send orientation information to students who have completed the application process and are accepted for admission. Schedule an orientation. It is advisable to schedule an early orientation to have the best chance of scheduling the classes that you want.
June - You may check the status of your TOPS application by logging on www.osfa.state.la.us.
HIGH SCHOOL CODE NUMBER
The high school CEEB code number for West Feliciana High School is 192615. This number is required for ACT and SAT registration and is also requested on many scholarship and financial aid applications.
Current college applications and information are available on-line for colleges and universities. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU COMPLETE COLLEGE ADMISSION APPLICATIONS AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE END OF YOUR SENIOR YEAR TO BEGIN THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS.
UPCOMING SENIOR DAY/OPEN HOUSE DATES
Most colleges have preview or senior days for prospective students. Also, most now have weekly times for personal tours. Please check the websites for the schools you have interest in. Register early. Many preview day programs have limited spots available.
ACT registration is online at www.actstudent.org/start. The cost is $39.50 for the ACT only. ACT plus the writing is $56.50. Late registration cost is an additional $25.00. Students must have access to a credit card account to register online. If you do not have access to a credit card to register, please see me for an alternative option. Registration dates and deadlines are as follows:
If you're taking the ACT in the United States, a U.S. territory or Canada, then these ACT test dates will come in pretty handy! Check the ACT registration dates below to make sure you plan your time appropriately before you register. If you have more questions about completing your registration, then check out the Top 10 ACT Registration FAQs to get all of those questions answered.
The 2016 ACT Test without Writing registration fee is $39.50, which includes sending your scores to four colleges of your choice.
If you want to take the optional ACT Writingtest with the ACT, your test fee goes up to $56.50, and there are more fees if you're late, want to take the test standby or need to change testing centers.
The price is worth it, though, considering the money you could make with an excellent ACT score.
For international test dates, you an checkACT.org online to see the updated list.
2016 - 2017 ACT Test Dates
Late Registration Time Frame
Sept. 10, 2016
Oct. 22, 2016
Sept. 17 - 30
Dec. 10, 2016
Nov. 5 - 18
Feb. 11, 2017
Jan. 14 - 20
April 8, 2017
March 4 - 17
June 10, 2017
May 6 - 19
FEE WAIVERS: Students who qualify for the following programs may receive a fee waiver for the ACT for two test dates. Fee waivers are available in the counselor’s office. Students must be in the 11th or 12th grades, be a US citizen, and meet one of the following listed below:
Enrolled in a free or reduced-price lunch program at school.
Enrolled in a program for the economically disadvantaged (for example, AVID or a federally funded TRIO program such as Upward Bound).
Resides in a foster home, is a ward of the state, or identified as homeless by the school system or outside agency.
Family receives low-income public assistance or lives in federally subsidized public housing.
WRITING TEST: Some colleges require a writing test score for admission. Please check the websites for your schools of interest to see if you need to schedule the writing part of the ACT exam.
SCORE REPORTS: Please send your scores to the Louisiana TOPS Program. The code for the TOPS Program is 1595 (LA Office of Student Financial Assistance – Baton Rouge). Those students interested in participating in athletics at the college level should register with the National Clearinghouse and send their ACT scores to NCAA with a code of 9999 and/or NAIA with a code of 9876.
SAT registration is online at www.collegeboard.com/register. The cost is $54.50. SAT does have a fee waiver for qualified students. More information is available on the website.
TECHNICAL PROGRAM ADMISSION
Those students planning to attend technical college after graduation should call the school they are interested in attending and make an appointment with the admissions counselor. It is recommended that you call in early spring as many programs have limited space and require an entry test. Scholarships and financial aid cannot be offered until you have applied for admission.
Students interested in joining a branch of the military should speak to several different recruiters to discover which branch of the military will best meet their needs and achieve their goals.
Free job training for young men and women ages 16 through 24 can be obtained through Job Corps. Qualified students get room and meals, up to $75 a month spending money, bonus pay, up to $1,995 upon graduation, a $300 clothing allowance, routine medical and dental care, transportation, books, driver’s education, and job placement services. This program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and is completely free to qualified students. More information is available in the counselor’s office.
Students planning to participate in athletics at the college level should first talk to their coach and then register with the NCAA Clearinghouse at http://ncaa.org/ for more information and https://web3.ncaa.org/ECWR2/NCAA_EMS/NCAA.jsp to register. Fee waivers are available. Please see the counselor for more information.
SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION
Federal law requires that all young men register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. By registering, not only are they in compliance with the law but remain eligible for benefits associated with registration, such as, college student loans and grants, job training, and Federal and some state government jobs. You may register on the Internet at www.sss.gov.
Please check college websites for detailed information on scholarship requirements, applications, and deadlines. Every college has specific deadlines for admission and scholarships. Check websites early to meet all deadlines. You should apply by the priority deadline if you meet the criteria. Many schools have a limited amount of money available.
There are millions of dollars in scholarships available to students planning to continue their education after high school. Please note the following before you begin your scholarship search:
1. Be smart about choosing which scholarships to complete. There are thousands of scholarships available. You will not have time to apply for all of them. Check the requirements carefully before you begin and choose the ones that are best suited to you.
2. Scholarships are very competitive. You are competing against a large number of students. Your completed scholarship application must be PERFECT. Try to type all applications or write NEATLY in black ink. Check the make sure that everything is complete and correct before submitting the application. It is a good idea to have someone proof your application before you submit it.
3. Do not wait until the deadline to begin working on the application. Most scholarship applications require essays and letters of recommendation. You must begin the process early.
FREE SCHOLARSHIP SEARCHES
There are many free scholarship search engines available on the internet. You may want to check out the following:
Adventures in Education Scholarship Search www.aie.org/Scholarships/
Mach 25 www.collegenet.com/mach25/app
Student Scholarships http://www.studentscholarships.org/
Scholarship Experts www.scholarshipexperts.com
Sallie Mae http://www.salliemae.com/
SRN Express http://www.studentscholarshipsearch.com/
U.S. Department of Education Scholarship Search http://www.studentscholarshipsearch.com/
Louisiana Connect https://louisianaconnect.org/Account/Registration
Scholarship Points https://www.scholarshippoints.com/
Super College http://www.supercollege.com/
Raise.me - Earn micro-scholarships for doing well in class: www.raise.me
FYI:APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID:
Beginning in October the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Remember the FAFSA is required for all federal grants, loans, work-study, and the LA TOPS scholarship. Parents should have their 2016 tax forms completed in order to fill out the FAFSA. Also, both student and parent must apply for a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. You must be admitted to a school before they will consider you for financial aid. So, don’t delay your applications too long.
Want to be considered for TOPS??? Please make sure that when you are registering for the ACT, be sure to include LOSFA (the TOPS Code 1595) as your first choice under the “Your Score Report and College Choices” portion.
Seniors applying for scholarships from a college should be sure and check the deadline for scholarship applications. Don’t miss out on scholarship money because you missed a deadline!
LOUISIANA EDUCATIONAL LOAN AUTHORITY - FREE COLLEGE PLANNING!!!!
Welcome to askLela! Lela is a division of the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority (LPFA), a non-profit public trust established to bring financing assistance and advantages to the people of Louisiana. Lela's mission is to serve the students of Louisiana by providing resources for college planning and statewide outreach initiatives to insure students' success on their path to and during college. Here you will find links to scholarship opportunities and information on how to pay for college. In addition, Louisiana Education Loan Authority (Lela) recently opened a new College Planning Center to help Louisiana high school seniors, their parents and guidance counselors navigate what can be an intimidating process: planning for a student's next level of education and deciding the best way to pay for it.
With a centrally located office in Baton Rouge, Lela, the education division of the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority, is offering free, one-on-one counseling; computer and Internet access; a resource library and help completing forms that are essential when applying for college grants, loans, scholarships, and admissions. All services through the center are provided free of charge for Louisiana residents.
Students and their parents can make an appointment to meet with a counselor by emailing email@example.com or calling (800) 228-4755, toll free, (225-923-0020 in Baton Rouge). The Center, at 2237 South Acadian Thruway, Suite 603, in Baton Rouge, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. . http://www.lela.org/
If you are applying to a private or out-of-state college and you plan to apply for financial aid, you may need to file the CSS/Financial Aid Profile. Check with the college to see if it is required. You can go online to www.collegeboard.com to register.
Guys are reminded that you must register with the Selective Service within 30 days of your 18th birthday. The easiest way to register is to go online to www.sss.gov.
Additional Scholarship Information
State Farm Good Neighbor Scholarship Program
NAVAL ROTC SCHOLARSHIP
Award: Full tuition up to $180,000; Criteria: U.S. citizen; 17 years old; high school diploma or equivalent; ACT Math 21 & English 22 or SAT Math-520 & Critical Reading-530 OR be ranked in the top 10% of your class; www.nrotc.navy.mil
LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: specific to each scholarship; Deadline: before November 15. For more details visit www.sites01.lsu.edu/wp/financialaid/entering-freshman-scholarships/
LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: specific to each scholarship; Deadline: varies by scholarship. For more details visit www.latech.edu/financial_aid/fundsscholarshipsgeneral.shtml
MCNESE STATE UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: specific to each scholarship; Deadline: December 1. For more details visit www.mcneese.edu/scholarships
NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: specific to each scholarship; Deadline: January 5. For more details visit www.nicholls.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/first-time-freshman
OUR LADY OF HOLY CROSS COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: 3.0 GPA, 20 ACT. Deadline: January 1. For more details visit www.olhcc.edu/financial-aid/olhcc-scholarship-information.html
OUR LADY OF THE LAKE COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: specific to each scholarship; Deadline varies between December-January by scholarship. For more details visit www.ololcollege.edu/offices-services/financial-aid/scholarships
SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: specific to each scholarship; Deadline: no formal deadline; however, students are encourages to apply early. For more details visit www.selu.edu/admin/fin_aid/info/scholarships/
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: specific to each scholarship AND you MUST be enrolled for two (2) consecutive semesters (summer not included) prior to receiving a scholarship. Deadline: open application period runs from March 1-May 15 of each year. For more details visit www.suno.edu/financial-aid-2/scholarships
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: 23 ACT with at least 18 English and 19 Math, 3.0 GPA; Early offers by November 15 with 28 ACT or better and cumulative 3.0 GPA or better. Final Deadline: January 31. For more details visit http://scholarships.louisiana.edu
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT MONROE SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: specific to each scholarship; Deadline: December 16. For more details visit www.ulm.edu/scholarships/
UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: specific to each scholarship; Deadline: January 15. For more details visit www.uno.edu/admissions/scholarships-awards.aspx
XAVIER UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS:
Scholarships: vary; Requirements: specific to each scholarship; Deadline: February 1. For more details visit www.xavier.edu/financial-aid/undergraduate-scholarships.cfm
THE CHRISTIAN CONNECTOR SCHOLARSHIP
The Christian Connector offers an online Christian college scholarship resource program. They offer a $2,500 scholarship drawing. Go to www.ChristianConnector.com to request information and be automatically entered into the drawing.
TULANE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS
Tulane offers several scholarship programs, including the John Hainkel Scholars’ Award, the Legislative Scholarship, the Dean’s Honors Scholarship and more.