Not every student wants to go to college right out of high school. Some aren’t sure they want to attend college at all – looking instead at alternative options. Though the atmosphere of education encourages immediate entry into college post-high school, this isn’t every student’s story. Some students choose to take a gap year.
With the holidays approaching and Christmas break around the corner, this email may seem like just another addition to your to-do list! But if you have a few minutes this month, December is a great time to sit with your senior to finalize your college and career plans.
No plan needs to be written in stone, especially in the ever-changing climate of the teen years. Even so, tangible goals for this final semester of your student’s high school career are incredibly helpful as you decide what’s next.
By now you may be very well acquainted with your student’s degree completion plan (DCP): the list of classes required for his intended major(s). These plans are available on any college’s website or through their admission office. Within it is listed general education courses (100-200 level courses you can CLEP or dual enroll prior to university) and your major-specific courses (300-400 level courses in a specific area of study).
If your student is college bound, “FAFSA” will soon become part of your vocabulary. FAFSA is an acronym for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid: a form filled out by families of college-bound students. This form helps the federal government estimate ho w much financial aid your student is eligible to receive. Eligibility for the Pell Grant and Stafford loans is determined by filing the FAFSA. Some colleges require the FAFSA before students qualify for any scholarships from their institution.
Last month we talked about avoiding college debt. Financial aid is a big part of that conversation, but what exactly is financial aid? Many families who have not yet sent a child to college – or who didn’t attend college themselves – are prone to think financial aid is solely made up of scholarships. When colleges advertise, “6.1 million in financial aid!”, they aren’t sharing the whole picture.