Financial Aid is any grant or scholarship, loan, or paid employment offered to help a student meet his/her college expenses. Such aid is usually provided by various sources such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, and corporations. FAFSAmeans Free Application for Federal Student Aid. October 1st of senior year is when you are able to fill out the FAFSA. The FAFSA is a tool created by the government to help determine what type of assistance you will need to pay for college. To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need: Social Security Numbers (If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, click here to apply for the TASFA instead. See below for TASFA information.) Your parents most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.) Bank statements and records of investments (if able; not mandatory) Records of untaxed income (if able; not mandatory)
Both you and your parent will need to create FSA IDs. Follow the steps on the slide show below to begin the process on FAFSA.gov.
Students who are Texas residents who are not eligible to apply for FAFSA can apply for the TASFA (Texas Application for State Financial Aid).
Click HERE for TASFA Application. Once you complete the TASFA application, you will turn it in to your college's financial aid office. The financial aid department will determine how much aid you will receive.
All students--in every grade--should be applying for scholarships.
Many scholarships are also offered through the institution you will be attending. You can also find scholarships by Googling for them! You will have to read through many lists, but it will be worth your effort.
SCHOLARSHIP TIPS AND TRICKS * Always type your scholarship applications. *If it asks for a photo (even optional) always submit a photo. Sometimes it helps weed out the students who don't want it bad enough. *Get at least two letters of recommendation from people who actually know you. Have them write a general letter of recommendation for a scholarship. *Create your resume (starting freshman year). Add to it when you win something. You WILL forget all of the accomplishments you made by the time you're a senior. Don't sell yourself short. * Use your resume to write your essays for scholarships! Essays provide you the opportunity to brag and elaborate on why you deserve this money and what you are going to do with it.
For the local scholarships (and a few others), interviews will determine the winners. You want to put your best foot forward for these interviews. Read this guide! If you have questions, let me know.
Be On Time You will be given a specific time for your interview. Being late to the interview only shows a lack of respect for the interviewer, and a lack of interest in the scholarship being offered. Allow plenty of extra time to arrive at your interview, and try to be a few minutes early. Professionalism is the key.
Be Conscious of Your Behavior Interviews of any kind can be nerve wracking, but it is important to appear calm and self possessed while speaking with the review board. Definitely do not tell them you are nervous!! Try not to fidget or appear nervous. Sitting still, making eye contact and maintaining good posture gives you the appearance of a calm, collected and professional student. Be confident in your answers, avoid sounding indecisive and speak clearly and to the point when answering the questions that are put to you. Remember, you CAN take a moment to compose yourself and your answers. Take a deep breath and deliver the best answer you can.
Dress Appropriately Dress presentably for all of your interviews. Men should consider slacks and a dress shirt, or even a suit and tie, and should be well groomed and professional looking. Female students may want to opt for a knee-length dress or business style suit when attending their interviews. The important thing here is to appear professional, able and earnest. Business-style clothing, not prom or homecoming outfits. J
Know Yourself Beyond being aware of your posture and your appearance, be conscious of what you say. Be clear and concise in your answers to the interviewer, and avoid wavering from the point. A rambling interviewee may seem charming, but he or she does not impress the review board. Stay focused, and keep your answers pertinent and on topic. If you find yourself without a satisfactory answer to a question, don't try to bluff your way through. Ask for clarification, or simply be honest and say you do not know. Interviewers prefer and honest interviewee who is aware of their own knowledge over someone who attempts to bluff or deceive. Above all be cordial, attentive and answer the questions clearly and concisely.
Ask a Few Questions Don't be afraid to ask questions during the interview process. Inquire about the company sponsoring the scholarship, or ask about particulars regarding the scholarship itself. Being able to engage the interviewer with questions of your own shows that you are prepared and comfortable, and highlight your interest in the award and in your ultimate college career.
It is nonsense to tell students to relax during their scholarship interviews. It is a nerve wracking process, and much hangs in the balance. But interviewers understand, and expect a certain level of nervousness on the part of scholarship applicants. As long as you are well prepared for your interview, the battle is half way won. Remember, not every applicant gets to the interview process. Your application, essay and student history were impressive enough to get you this far. That should help boost your confidence when the time comes for your scholarship interview to begin.
Sample Scholarship Interview Questions
They will probably start by asking you to tell about yourself. Have a good story prepared. Don’t forget to mention your family at some point in the interview!
General questions & plans for the future How did you become interested in your major? What are your educational/academic goals? What are your future career plans? How do you plan to use your studies to achieve your future career plans? What do you envision yourself doing in 10 years? Why will this scholarship help you in your career goals? What is one thing you will pack with you when you go to college? Hooks from application--Know your application & review your essays You wrote in your application that you read poetry. What kind of poetry do you read? Who's your favorite poet? I see your transcript includes ______ (a low grade, an odd course, etc.). Tell me about this. What can you tell me about the person this scholarship is named for? Questions about your personality or how you spend your time What do you do for fun when you're not studying or performing community service? I see you've accomplished some amazing things in your short life. In what areas do you think you can improve? I see you've done a lot of community service. Which service project are you most proud of and why? I also assume you've been involved in some leadership experiences. Please describe your most meaningful leadership experience and explain why it was most meaningful. What kind of music do you listen to? What is a novel or book that you've read for pleasure recently and like, and why did you like it? You have a strong desire to give back to the world. Where does this desire come from? They may give you an opportunity to say whatever you want, so be ready. Do you have anything else to add? Why should you be one of the people to get this scholarship?
A couple other things:
Things to highlight in your answers: family, elementary and middle school (some of the people in the room may know you from there!), creative reasons why you need the money, a memorable story,
You can bring a thank you note for the committee—either one big one, or one for each judge (about 8 on the committee) Keep it professional and creative. Not required, but a cool idea.
Do not ramble. Answer the question fully (a few paragraphs or so), then move on. Also, avoid one-word answers!
Be sure to make eye contact with all members of the committee. They all need to connect with you to vote for you to win.
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