College Financial Aid & Scholarship Resources
College Financial Aid & Scholarship Resources:
The Bishop Verot Catholic High School counseling staff is available to help our Verot families with the college financial aid & scholarship process. This includes answering financial aid questions and assisting families with FAFSA or CSS profile-related questions. The counseling office will also offer a financial aid workshop for parents of seniors and hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity. Please feel free to contact Ms. Barbato at email@example.com or Mrs. Deanna Breen at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How does it work?
Colleges and universities have special counselors who deal with financial aid. The office of financial aid calculates your expected family contribution (EFC) based primarily on tax information from the previous year, as determined by the FAFSA, CSS Profile (required by almost 400 colleges & scholarship programs), and institutional forms (when requested). The college then prepares a package to meet the difference between your expected family contribution and the actual cost of attending. This package could include loans, work study, and grants. Loans need to be paid back, although federal loans tend to have a much lower interest rate than private loans from the bank. Federal loans are based on financial need, while private loans are based on the borrower's credit. Grants are similar to scholarships - the money is applied to your tuition without repayment.
Pay attention to individual school requirements when gathering applications. Indicate that you are applying for financial aid if given the opportunity on college applications.
Types of Financial Aid:
Federal Financial Aid
We encourage all families, regardless of financial history, to complete the the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - FAFSA - when it becomes available...now on October 1st!!
Many schools will not offer scholarships or work study unless the FAFSA has been filed. You will also not be eligible for need-based financial aid unless this form is filled out. It is recommended families complete the FAFSA as soon as it becomes available to maximize your chance of receiving aid.
The FAFSA will now use 2 year prior taxes to the academic year the student will be attending, which will allow families to take advantage of the IRS data retrieval tool. A FAFSA worksheet is available on the FAFSA website.
FAFSA4caster is an online tool that helps students and parents determine their current eligibility for federal student aid. Juniors especially should check out https://studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/ to learn how much aid they would receive if they applied today.
State Financial Aid
The state of Florida has its own financial aid application which is used to determine eligibility for a Bright Futures Scholarship and several additional state grant opportunities. All seniors should complete the Initial Student Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) when it becomes available on October 1st.
School-Specific Financial Aid
Colleges use the FAFSA as the first step in determining financial need. Many schools also require the CSS Profile (prepared by the College Board) or their own school-specific financial aid application to gather more information. You'll need to pay close attention to each school's requirements, which are usually available on their application for admission or on their school website. In general, schools requiring the CSS Profile will ask for the form in the fall, before the student has been admitted (usually November), however the general rule-of-thumb is to submit it at least two weeks before the earliest college or scholarship priority filing date you need to meet. School-specific forms often come with acceptance letters to admitted students only. Students should be sure to indicate they are applying for financial aid if they have the opportunity on their college application. This indication will prompt the admissions office to forward necessary forms.
A note on Early Decision and Financial Aid:
Several high-profile colleges have recently dropped their early decision programs under the explanation that the process has an unfair bias against those who will require financial aid. An early decision application is BINDING - you are committing to that school, regardless of your financial aid package. If financial aid is a concern, it is advisable to apply under non-binding early action or regular decision plans so that you can compare financial aid packages before committing to a college.
SCHOLARSHIP & GRANTS
Scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid - a big plus! Students should be proactive in the search for "free money." It pays off down the road. Scholarship information is available and updated by our Guidance staff on a weekly basis. Counselors are available to assist students with this process, however, It is up to each individual student to research and apply for scholarships!! An updated scholarship list will posted each week via our Naviance & Guidance websites.
The BVHS "WEEKLY SCHOLARSHIP UPDATE" ~ Links to the scholarships that are posted by Guidance.
We strongly encourage all scholarship applications and supporting materials to be submitted through the Guidance Department!
Financial Aid Information on the Web:
- Parent & Student Financial Aid Resource Center
- Federal Student Aid Grant & Loan Programs
- Federal Student Aid Publications
- Cash for College Brochure
- UF Gator Aid: http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/publications/
- Saving for College
- The Student Loan Report - best private student loans (aside from Fed Gov loans)
Free Scholarship Information on the Web:
- CollegeNet MACH 25
- The College Board
- College Connection Scholarships
Seniors attending private institutions in Florida
Seniors attending private institutions in Florida may be eligible to receive the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG); a program that provides tuition assistance to Florida undergraduate students attending an eligible private, non-profit Florida college or university. FRAG is a decentralized state of Florida program, which means that each participating institution determines application procedures, deadlines, and student eligibility. Applications may be obtained at the financial aid offices of eligible Florida colleges and universities and students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), complete and error free.