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Applying for College Financial Aid

Keep going with college plans, what to do if your financial situation changes, COVID-19 resources

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Applying for College & Financial Aid April 7, 2020

 

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Keep going with your college plans

If you plan to start college in the fall, continue with your preparations. Keep submitting college applications, file the FAFSA, and apply for scholarships and grants if you have not done these things already. As of today, deadlines for state and federal aid programs have not changed, and some programs give priority to students who file earlier.

Whether you are a high school student or an adult learner, you should not put your college plans on hold. You can get personalized, one-on-one guidance through our Virtual College Coach.


What to do if your financial situation changes

If your financial situation has changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, here is advice from Federal Student Aid: "The FAFSA form uses tax information from two years prior to the award year. If your family's financial situation has changed dramatically since filing taxes, you should complete the FAFSA questions as required, submit the FAFSA form, then contact the school you plan to attend and discuss your situation with the financial aid office."


Online resources related to COVID-19 and financial aid

Iowa College Aid is continuously updating our website with the latest information related to college financial aid. Here are some helpful resources:

We can be reached by phone at 877-272-4456 or 515-725-3400, or by email at Info@IowaCollegeAid.gov. You can also connect with our Virtual College Coach.

 
 

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Applying for College & Financial Aid December 3, 2019

 

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How many schools should you apply to?

We recommend applying to at least three schools. This strategy gives you options so you can compare financial aid awards, and you have a backup in case Plan A falls through. Put at least one of each of these schools on your list:

  • A safety school's where you're confident you'll be accepted. (In Iowa, community colleges are open-admission, which means they accept any student with a high school diploma or equivalent.)
  • A target school's which you know is a solid possibility based on your GPA and test scores.
  • A stretch school's (also called a dream school or reach school ), which might have an extremely low admission rate or might simply be a school where your statistics are slightly below the usual range. Don't sell yourself short. Outstanding essays or letters of recommendation might nudge you onto the accepted list.

What is Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for college students with financial need, allowing you to earn money for education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to your course of study.

Participating schools administer Work-Study programs, but you must apply for the job yourself. Jobs are generally filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply as early as you can. If you qualify for Work-Study based on your FAFSA, your school will include it in your award letter. Learn more here.


6 tips to make friends in college

  1. Make the most of your campus experience. If you live on campus, dorms are filled with other freshmen going through a similar, huge life transition. They're also nervous about making new friends and are open to new relationships. Leave your door open to encourage people to stop by. If you live off campus, stick around after class; making friends is hard if you always head straight home.
  2. Be yourself. Other people can't get to know you if you aren't being yourself. Trust us, someone will share your interests and personality, but you won't find them if you aren't honest about who you are.
  3. Take initiative. Instead of just saying hi, invite people out to dinner. Be the person who organizes fun activities. Say yes to invitations as much as you can. Take advantage of opportunities to meet people.
  4. Join student clubs. A mistake freshmen often make is waiting too long to get involved. Joining a club or organization with people who have similar interests is an amazing way to make friends. Studies show that students involved with extra curriculars earn better grades and have higher levels of happiness.
  5. Be nice! We don't mean being a people pleaser and phony laughing. People want to know you're genuinely interested in them.
  6. Don't panic if it doesn't happen immediately. Plan to spend some time alone so you're not discouraged. Make a list of TV shows, movies, and books for your first couple of months. We bet you'll make friends before you finish the list!  
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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