Paying for college seems to get harder and harder each year. As tuition prices continue to rise, families are forced to find ways to help pay for school. College should be viewed as an investment, but regardless, any help out there is beneficial for families. One of the most important documents you will need to fill out your senior year is the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This federal government document will be used to determine if you are eligible for loans, grants or even some scholarships which are all money sources you should consider when trying to pay for school. It takes a snapshot of you and your parent's income at that particular point in time.
Loan: Money borrowed from the government or a financial institution that must be paid back. Subsidized loans are available for financially needy students, which allow you to not collect interest while you are enrolled in higher education. Unsubsidized loans are also an option, but interest will accrue while you are in school.
Grant: This is free money that you do not have to pay back. Grants are based on your financial need alone. Grades, test scores and talents do not factor into whether you get a grant or not. Many grants are given on a first come, first serve basis, so it is important to apply early.
Scholarship: Free money based on your grades, test scores, talents or attributes that are unique in some way. Scholarships can be found independently, through your school of choice or by checking in the guidance office.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA application is required for all students planning to attend a college or university. It opens on October 1.
The application can be found here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
We will be having an informational meeting regarding the FAFSA for parents on Wednesday, September 11 @ 6pm in the auditorium. An expert from the Illinois Student Assisstance Commission will come out and explain the FAFSA and its importance. Please plan to attend this meeting if you would like further information regarding the FAFSA and financial aid. Students are welcome, but not required to attend.
We will also be having a FAFSA/College Application Workshop on October 9th from 4-6pm in the high school library. An expert from the Illinois Student Assisstance Commission will be on hand to help while filling out these applications. Please bring the following information to the workshop:
* Social Security Numbers or Alien Registration Numbers
* 2018 Tax Information (1040's and w-2's)
* Bank Statements (most recent)
* Federal Student Aid ID's (FSA ID) Create one now at fsaid.ed.gov
Black Hawk College is also hosting a free FAFSA Application Night on Tuesday, October 8th from 4-7pm in Building 1 (ESL Computer Lab below the library).