College/Financial Aid Information
For information on Financial Aid visit the following website:
Before The Tour:
● Do Research--know its outstanding programs, faculty-student ratio, educational mission, the mascot, competitive sports teams, major rivals. Know all pertinent, public information about the college.
●Read while you wait.
● Make good use of your time.
● The more you understand about a college, the more efficient you will be during the tour.
● Your tour guide will be a student. Preparing is the first step to a successful and efficient campus tour.
While on The Tour:
● Ask tour guide why did you choose this college?
● What have been your best experiences here?
● Why did you stay after freshman year?
● What is your plan for after graduation?
After The Tour:
● Talk to the tour guide--ask questions of personal concern--attending a large college, worried about making friends, test scores high enough.
● Write down five impressions you received from the tour.
● Ask tour guide for his/her email address.
● Explore on your own
WHAT IS FINANCIAL AID?
Financial aid is money that is given to you so that you can pay for college. Most students can obtained financial assistance for college. The federal government is the largest source, followed by the state government, colleges, and private organizations.
FINANCING YOUR EDUCATION:
The College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) can provide the necessary information in assisting you with your college financing. Visit their website www.cfnc.org or call 1-800-600-3453.
GIFT-AID, GRANTS, AND SCHOLARSHIPS - This is money that does not have to be repaid. The federal government funds two of the largest grant programs, the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. The major state grants are the NC Student Incentive Grant, UNC Need-Based Grant, the NC Community College Grant, the NC Legislative Grant, and NC State Contractual Scholarship.
Pell Grants are up to $4,050 per year that are given to students based on family financial need. This money does NOT have to be paid back. Grant amounts can change each year.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are given to students with exceptional financial need. This money does NOT have to be paid back.
Federal Work-Study is awarded to students who demonstrate need on their FAFSA, which you should submit in January of your senior year. You may work up to 20 hours per week at jobs available on or off campus.
Federal Stafford Loans are for undergraduate students who can borrow from $2,625 to $10,500 per year depending on their financial need and grade level. The interest rate on Stafford loans is capped at 8.25%.
Federal Plus Loans are for the natural, adoptive or stepparents of dependent undergraduate students. Parents can borrow up to the cost of their child's education minus other financial aid awarded. Borrowers must undergo a credit analysis, and repayment begins 60 days after the first disbursement. The interest rate on PLUS loans is capped at 9%.
Federal Perkins Loans up to $3,000 per year for students with exceptional need. These loans carry a fixed interest rate of 5%.
Financial Aid/Scholarship websites:
Begin the Financial Aid Process by applying for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at http://www.pin.ed.gov/. Second, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online as soon as possible after January 1. This must be completed for all four year college and universities and community colleges. This free application determines your eligibility for all federal grants and loans. The FAFSA worksheets will be available in the guidance office in December and should be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov . You can also complete a FAFSA form at Caldwell County Public Library.
CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE must be completed for selected universities. See your counselor or http://www.collegeboard.com/ for a list of schools requiring this profile.
NCAA Eligibility Center: Student athletes needing NCAA eligibility to play college sports may apply online at http://www.ncaaclearinghouse.net/ .
Most nationwide scholarship opportunities can be found using the Internet. Not all sponsors send paper applications or notices to high schools. One excellent resource is http://www.fastweb.com/ .
Another source with links to national web searches is http://www.cfnc.org/ .
Because so much information is available on the Internet, you should NEVER have to pay for a scholarship search.
Remember, each college has its own scholarships and/or work programs. Once you know where you are applying, it's very important that you learn each school's procedure.College Applications should be submitted by Thanksgiving at the latest. Check individual school deadlines. Many colleges now prefer on lime applications. Visit College Foundation of North Carolina (http://www.cfnc.org/) to begin your online applications. Your counselor will have a limited supply of paper applications in early September. Colleges will also send you information and applications directly upon request. Application fees range from $35 to $60 or more per application. Many colleges and universities as well as community colleges have free applications now if you submit them online.
Campus Tours: Seniors are encouraged to visit college campuses before making a final decision. With pre-approval, seniors may visit campuses one day each semester and not be counted absent. See your counselor for the procedures and forms.