Deep breaths. We understand the application process can be a little daunting and cost is a factor on your decision. Before you begin, be sure to read through the following information. You will gain a better understanding of the financial options available to you and important dates. Find links on everything from financial aid to various scholarship programs to financial plans from Arizona’s colleges. Think of this as musical score leading up to that final crescendo – when your child gains acceptance to college and receives a standing ovation from you!
The time has come for a very important stage in the college selection process: Financial Aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA, allows students to be considered for the full range of state and federal financial aid programs administered by colleges and universities. By completing this one application, students are applying for the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Work-Study Program, and many other federal government programs, including student and parent loans.
The FAFSA is primarily an online application and becomes available October 1 of the senior year. The funds for some of these grant programs are capped and, therefore, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Two students with similar need could receive different aid packages depending on the order in which their FAFSA was submitted.
Getting a FSA ID #
Before submitting a FAFSA online, a parent AND student need to create a FSA ID # first. This will be used to sign the FAFSA electronically. There’s no need to wait. Create your FSA ID # now at: www.fafsa.gov and click on the Lock icon named “FSA ID.” By applying for the ID # now, you will ensure that it is available to you when you are completing the online application in October. The online application cannot be filed without a FSA ID #.
If you have difficulties or questions about filing the FAFSA, you may contact the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend, or the Federal Student Aid Office at 1-800-4FED-AID. You can also get help from Campus Advisers, a financial planner service that specializes in the college financial aid planning process. Some of their college planning services help you to understand the financial aid process; increase your eligibility for free financial aid; calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC); complete all paperwork accurately and on-time; and help avoid costly mistakes on the financial aid forms. Their website is www.campusadvisers.com.
Tax information for students and parents from the year you started your junior year is needed to complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA uses the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to verify the accuracy of your income data. This also satisfies most requests for verification, which is a random financial aid process that all colleges are required to do. The best practice is to submit your FAFSA and use the IRS DRT to pull in the information from your filed tax return. Don’t wait if your tax information is not ready. Go ahead and file the FAFSA with estimated information. Amendments to the FAFSA can be made up to June 30 at the end of senior year.
The FAFSA becomes available October 1 of your senior year. My recommendation is to get it submitted online before winter break at the latest. That way, you give yourself the best opportunity to receive need-based scholarships and grants for which you qualify. Also, be aware of institutional financial aid applications that colleges may require you to complete, and their deadlines. Schools will refer to specific instructions at their website or on printed materials.
Need help filling out the FAFSA? Come to the FREE College Goal Arizona Event and have someone help you through the process.
COLLEGE GOAL ARIZONA
Selective Colleges with Generous Scholarships
Colleges that give good merit aid Remember that it is the overall net price that counts. Even if a college gives great merit aid, make sure to pay attention to Cost of Attendance (COA) minus ALL financial aid (merit and needs-based) Use a net price calculator to find out
63 Colleges Committed to NO Student Loans
Members of the Coalition include a diverse group of public universities that have affordable tuition along with need-based financial aid for in-state residents, and private colleges and universities that provide sufficient financial aid to meet the full, demonstrated financial need of every domestic student they admit. Coalition schools graduate at least 70 percent of their students within six years, with many having much higher graduation rates. The Coalition has signed up over 90 schools so far, and more partners continue to join.
If your family has demonstrated a financial need, AND you qualify for fee waiver assistance for testing and/or application fees, please have a parent contact the College Counselor.
Fiscal Tiger – Seniors, check out a resource you may refer to as you embark on your young adult life.
Please review links and files below for additional College Planning Resources
So that our students can have full control over requesting and tracking their transcript, they will be requested electronically through the official transcript service www.parchment.com/register. HOWEVER, you MUST register with an ASSIGNED REGISTRATION CODE. You will receive this by August of your senior year.
There is no cost for transcripts sent electronically. Some colleges, however, do not have the ability to receive an electronic transcript. If this is the case, Parchment will mail your transcript for you through the website.
Please click on the link below to review the transcript process for ASA.
Please see the links and files below with suggestions and tips for preparing for the college application process.
In order to be considered for an appointment to a service academy, an applicant must meet the eligibility requirements established by law and be nominated from an authorized person, including a member of the United States Senate or the House of Representatives.
Please see the following links to research your Congressman and to see which district you live in, which will determine which Congressman would serve to nominate you.
Arizona’s participation in the Western Undergraduate Exchange enables Arizona residents to attend a participating out-of-state public college at 150% of resident tuition rates.
List of Participating Colleges
Here is a list of Accredited Online College Programs
College Jumpstart – College Planning for the Middle School Student
We know navigating financial aid and scholarship options can be challenging. We will do our best to share relevant information as it comes our way.
ASU – Arizona State University Scholarships
ASU – ASU Freshman Kaibab Scholarship
NAU – Northern Arizona University Scholarships
UA – The University of Arizona Scholarships
All In-State – Arizona Board of Regents Scholarship (There are changes for Class of 2016 +)
Good Sites to Consider
As a general rule, Flinn Scholarship applicants should:
Phoenix Suns Charities Scholarships
Quest Bridge – For high achieving, low-come students
The Gates Millennium Scholarship Program
For African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American students with high academic and leadership promise who have significant financial need.
An achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities.
The oldest and largest scholarship program for high school girls. Last year, we made more than $1.1 billion in cash tuition and college-granted scholarships available nationally. Scholarships are available in two ways: cash tuition scholarships (which can be used at any accredited institution of higher learning) and college-granted scholarships (over 100 colleges and universities offer scholarships to program participants – several scholarships are available just for taking part in a local or state program!)
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RHMC)
For students in the United States living in areas where there are participating local RMHC Chapters. Please note that not all Chapters offer all four scholarships below:
General Eligibility Requirements
To apply for an RMHC scholarship, a student must:
Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship
A grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness. The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.
The Dell Scholars Program is a college completion program unique in the type of students it supports and how it nurtures and empowers those students on their path to a college degree. An initiative of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Dell Scholars Program provides its students with resources and mentoring beyond initial financial assistance to ensure they have the support they need to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
To be eligible to apply for the Dell Scholars Program scholarship, you must meet the below listed criteria:
College Scholarship Program is an undergraduate scholarship program available to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities. College Scholars receive up to $40,000 per year, college planning support, ongoing advising, and the opportunity to network with the larger JKCF Scholar community. The application period is open from late September to late November. Up to 40 College Scholars are selected for this program each year.
Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is a highly-selective scholarship for the nation’s top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at selective four-year colleges or universities. The Foundation provides up to $40,000 per year for up to three years, making it the largest private scholarship for community college transfer students in the country. The application period is open from late August to late October. Up to 55 Undergraduate Transfer Scholars are selected each year.
Young Scholars Program offers the most personalized, generous scholarship and educational support to exceptionally promising students from families across the nation who have financial need. Young Scholars receive comprehensive educational advising and financial support from the 8th grade through high school to pursue their unique academic and talent goals. The application period is open from February to April. Up to 50 Young Scholars are selected for this program each year. Final notification is in the early fall.
Designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage obtain a college degree. Scholarships are available, on a competitive basis, to:
Awards are based on merit; amounts range from $500 to $5,000, based on relative need, among the Scholars selected.
Vantage West Scholarship Program
Scholarship chosen based on factors including academic merit, philanthropic activities, essay responses, and more.
Music-Related Scholarships – (Some are for music majors and some are not)
National Association for Music Education
College Scholarships for Music Performance
Scholarships for Middle School Students
Scholarships for Middle School