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!

FAFSA 2016-2017

Seniors and parents, do you have any plans for this Saturday, October 1st?  If you are looking for something to do, you can file the FAFSA!

keep-calm-fafsa

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) has always been known to become available on January 1st.  This has changed, and it is going to make applying for financial aid a lot easier for families.  The October 1st opening date allows families to use prior-prior tax returns.  This means that if the student is enrolling in college for the 2017-2018 school year, the 2015 tax returns can be used.  The early date should make it a lot easier to complete the FAFSA and enter accurate tax information.  For additional information about the FAFSA, click here!

important

With anything that goes along with the college application process, students should be double checking all college financial aid deadlines.  This also includes the CSS Profile if that is required as well.

dont-forget

Lowell Catholic will be hosting it’s annual Financial Aid Information Night on Thursday, October 27th at 6:30 in the auditorium.  A representative for MEFA will be here to explain the financial aid process and answer any questions you may have.  You don’t want to miss this very important night!!!

First Freedom Student Competition

One of the many questions guidance counselors get asked is “Are there any scholarships for students who are not seniors?”  The answer is “Yes!”  Today we are featuring the First Freedom Student Competition.

First Freedom 2013-2014-Flyer

This competition is open to all students in grades 9-12.

The award is $2,500.00!

The deadline to register for the contest is November 18th.  Click here for details on all of the requirements (make sure you click on the guidelines button).

We hope you take advantage of this great opportunity as well as others that are listed on the Scholarships page and Naviance!