October is an important month for students to begin planning their steps after high school. If your child is a senior graduating in 2021, they should be considering the following between now and Halloween:
- Complete the FAFSA: The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is vital that all seniors and their families complete this form, whether they think they are college-bound or not. By completing this form, students can learn how much money they qualify for in Pell Grants (and most Ash Fork students qualify for at least some money). In many cases, Pell Grants alone are sufficient to pay for full-time tuition at Yavapai College! FAFSA is also required for many other scholarships, as well as for those interested in student loans. Even if you are not seriously considering college, university, or trade school, you should still complete FAFSA just to get information about how much money you would qualify for.
- Apply for some scholarships: This is an excellent time for students to review the Google Classroom Scholarship page and complete some scholarship applications. Most of the scholarships up there now are competing with other students on a national level, but as we go through the next few months, some scholarships will only be competed for on a local or state level. Applying for scholarships is a numbers game – only getting 1 or 2% of the scholarships you apply for could still result in a lot of money for college. Thus, applying for several hundred scholarships makes an excellent part-time job for students!
- Apply for a college, university, or trade school: Seniors should be thinking about what they want to do after high school. This could be anything from an internship at a skilled job, to military service, a trade school, community college, or university. Students should be weighing their options and talking with people in their lives about where they see themselves over the next several years. October is a good month for seniors to complete the applications for their top choices, and make decisions based on the results.
- Consider a meeting with the Northern Arizona College Resource Center: If you are a senior that is struggling to decide what the future holds, you should setup a Zoom meeting with Adriana from Northern Arizona College Resource Center (NACRC). She is an excellent resource for thinking through all of the different choices you have available. She is also a good resource for helping with FAFSA, college applications, and scholarship options. Her contact info is in one of the attached images.
All senior families should put Monday, October 19th at 6pm on their calendars for our annual FAFSA night. At this event, staff will be available to guide students and their families through the FAFSA, and experts from different colleges will be available live on Zoom to help families individually. See the image attached to this article for more details on completing FAFSA.
NACRC is also a good option for recent high school graduates that are considering going back to school or switching to a new school or program.
This is also a good opportunity for juniors to begin thinking about their post-high school goals. For instance, it would be a good idea for juniors to begin considering their college options, and come up with list of top 2-3 choices. Juniors should also research whether or not the ACT is necessary for their college applications or to receive scholarships from their colleges of choice. Juniors can setup a Zoom meeting with Adriana if they would like help making some of these decisions.
As always, you can always reach out to me if you have any questions.