Financial Aid Resources

Thanks to all who made it out to our College Financial Aid Night last night! It’s definitely an overwhelming topic, so I hope those of you who came got some of your questions answered and feel a little more at ease about the process.

Here are some reminders/resources to help you navigate financial aid season.

FAFSA – (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – http://www.fafsa.ed.gov

Required by all schools if you are looking for any kind of aid. Opened October 1st. Use 2015 tax info.

CSS Profilehttp://www.css.collegeboard.org

Required by some colleges. Used to give out institutional aid. Opened Oct. 1st. Look at school websites (or there is a list on the CSS Profile website) to see if any of your colleges require this form.

MEFA – Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority – http://www.mefa.org

MEFA provides many financial resources for families. Check out their resources or call them if you have questions!

FAFSA Day – Mark your calendars! FAFSA Days are being held throughout Massachusetts from November through March. Financial Aid Counselors will be on hand to help you fill out your FAFSA and answer questions. It’s free to attend, but you must register. Go to http://www.fafsaday.org to see dates and to register. UMass Lowell is hosting on November 6th, Middlesex Community College hosts one on February 12th.

Scholarships – There are tons of resources out there for scholarships. Fastweb.com is what we usually recommend, but collegeboard.org, scholarships.com, are also good ones. Be aware that some sites charge for their services and promise to find scholarships. Don’t fall for this! Scholarships should always be free. Do a Google search on anything that sounds strange. Check our scholarship Google doc frequently (I added several today): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KH_D1gQtkz3LdGzc0GKxV4giRqQwRaChN3fYINktzcU/edit?usp=sharing

As always, be aware of deadlines! Missing a deadline in the financial aid world can mean missing out on a significant amount of money.

What other information would you find helpful? Let us know how we can help you!

Looking Back – LC Guidance Department

So much of what we write on this blog focuses on college.  Future planning is a big part of our jobs, but it’s certainly not the only thing we do.  High school isn’t all about just focusing on the next step.  You may or may not love it; either way, it shapes who you are as a person.  We thought it would be fun to ask our faculty to look back on their high school days.  Not everyone jumped at that opportunity, so we thought we’d get the ball rolling by sharing some of our memories!  And pictures!

Mrs. Albanese

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High School:  Peabody Veterans Memorial High School (Peabody, MA)

Favorite subject:  One of my favorite classes in was an Intro. to Civics class.  It was one of the first classes I took that required me to reflect upon and define my personal values and beliefs.  The class was largely discussion based and student driven, which was a new experience for me, especially when my peers held differing beliefs.

Least favorite subject:  Math was always a challenge for me stemming from middle school.  I remember being a “regular” at math extra help sessions and worrying about the math portion of the SAT.  I thought that I was terrible at anything math related, but was pleasantly surprised when I performed well in Statistics in college.

High school memory:  When it was time to fill out college applications, there was no “Common Application” or any online options for that matter.  I had to fill out every application separately and solely paper based.  I remember having my white out close by in case I made a mistake and was nervous that my handwriting would look sloppy and smudged (a woe only a “lefty” can understand).

 

Mrs. Ducharme

high-school-picture

High School:  Dracut High School (Dracut, MA)

Fun Facts:  I was captain of the swim team my senior year!  I did freestyle and butterfly

Also – LC’s band director Mr. Grande was my elementary school music teacher.  He was at Dracut High when I was there, too

What were you like in high school?  I was very shy and had no self-confidence.  I had my small group of friends and it was difficult for me to venture out to meet other students (other than the swim team).  Because of this, I don’t know who a lot of the other students are that I graduated with.  Also, I think being shy prevented me from wanting to live away for college.  I didn’t take the time to visit college campuses or learn about all of the wonderful opportunities there were for me.  I commuted to UMASS Lowell and while it gave me a great foundation for my career, I wish I had the experience of living in a dorm.

 What advice would you give to your high school self?  There is nothing to worry about!  Everything always works out in the end.  And what other people think is not important in the long run.

 

Mrs. Langan

ll-high-schoolHigh School:  Scranton High School (Scranton, PA)

Extra-curriculars:  Tennis team, Yearbook, Drama Club, French Club.   I also worked at an ice cream shop, which was the best job ever!

What were you like in high school?  I was super shy in class.  There were teachers who probably never even learned my name since I was so quiet!  That said, I had this crazy, loud group of friends.  I learned that you can be friends with people who are different from you while still being yourself!

High school memory:  My school was way too small for the amount of students who attended.  My class was the last to graduate before a brand new school opened, which seems like a bummer but really wasn’t. Because our cafeteria was too small, we got to go out for lunch everyday.  My high school was on the edge of the downtown area so there were plenty of places we could walk to and eat.  Everyone was always late for their class after lunch, though!  Once we started driving it got even worse.  I remember being about 15 minutes late for French one day because a truck double-parked in front of my car…

 

Up next, we have Ms. MacNeil sharing a memory from her high school days.  We hope you like this new feature – let us know what you think!

Senior College Challenge Happening Now!

Seniors, are you feeling the pressure of the college application process? It can be a stressful time, but it is also exciting! Guidance wants to draw your attention back to all the excitement applying to college brings and what better way than to win college prizes!  

It is simple to participate and Guidance is ready to start giving away its College Prize Stash.

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Prize Winners from Spring ’16 College Week

Interested? Visit your Guidance Counselor and ask for a Green Graduation Cap to start earning points.

10 points will grant you a pick of our College Prizes and here are some of the ways to play:

  • Attend a college rep visit here at LC
  • Attend a college tour
  • Mention us on Twitter (@LCGuidance1) – get creative! Post a picture of yourself on a college tour, tweet about working on applications, tweet advice to underclassmen 
  • “Like” our page on Facebook (LCHS Guidance Department) and share one of our posts
  • Complete a scholarship application
  • Attend Financial Aid Night on 10/27 at 6:30pm

Keep up the hard work Seniors and remember:

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