By Makala Finley
With just under 20 weeks left until that long-awaited graduation date in June, many different deadlines are piling up. Scholarship deadlines, college deadlines and financial aid deadlines. Taxes will soon be ready, and the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) will be ready to fill out. Colleges and universities will begin giving away money on Feb. 1, so don’t miss the boat. According to the counselors, even if seniors feel that they do not qualify for financial aid, they still need to fill out the FAFSA. In most cases, there is almost always something out there for incoming freshmen.
For more assistance, students and parents should attend Financial Aid night on Feb. 3 at 6:30 in the library. Financial aid guru Marcus Cooper from Texas A&M University will be the key speaker. If possible, seniors should attend this helpful gathering.
“They’ll [students and parents] will get a lot of help. With changes this year, they’ll get new information about the FAFSA, [learn] the difference between loans, scholarships and grants. [Financial Aid Night] will give a gfoundation for filling out the FAFSA and the financial aid process,” counselor Karla Ridings said.
Besides the financial aid deadlines, college application deadlines are beginning to pop up and seniors should be aware of the dates so they do not miss the deadline to apply to the school of their choice. Seniors should also check with their school of choice and take note of the school’s scholarship deadlines. Many colleges and universities offer a variety of scholarships for incoming freshman.
“I’m a little concerned about the financial aid process and scholarships because I know it’s on a first come first served basis,” senior Jou’rdan Lumford said. “My college search is going pretty good because I’ve been planning to go to the University of Houston since my freshman year.”
Finallyly, for a limited time only, those seniors wanting to attend a local community college such as SAC can register to take the Accuplacer for no cost. Students should sign up in the GO Center located in the counseling office. All they need to do is fill out a request in the counseling office and they will be called down to register. Later in the Spring, junior colleges will require the THEA (Texas Higher Education Assessment), which is more expensive than the Accuplacer.
Graduation is quickly approaching. It is important to keep grades high and know the deadlines. With free money being tossed around, no student should be left out. So here’s to second semester Seniors! The journey is winding down.
Here’s a sneak peek at what will be going on for the Class of 2011’s last semester:
Feb. 1- Colleges start giving out financial aide
Feb. 3- Financial Aid Night at 6:30 in the library
Feb. 23- Ms. Saldivar will hold FAFSA assistance in the library from 12-6 p.m.
Mar. 22- Summa Reception at 6 p.m. Tentatively will be help in the new auditorium
Mid-Spring- Awards Night
Jun. 6- GRADUATION at Freeman Coliseum
On the slideshow: Senior Cierra Harper fills out her application to UTSA in the Go Center. The Go Center helps students with financial aid and admission applications.