UnMazed Magazine: Financial Aid & Scholarships (October 2018)

Page 1


October 2018


The POWER of Scholarships

Local & State Resources

Financial Aid: What You Need to Know Bright Futures & Other Funding

C O N T E N T SÂ 9 FAFSA Infographic 10 Top 5 Scholarship Sources: Infographic

32 Helping Your Child Make the Decision

36 $100 Million in Free College Money Left Behind

12 Terminology: Scholarships & Financial Aid

17 The Power of Local Scholarships

18 Local Scholarship Resources 20 Ask the Expert: Institutional Scholarships

21 Know How Colleges Give Money

22 Fridson Files: My Path to Scholarships

24 Bright Futures: What Parents & Students Need to Know

26 Florida State Scholarships & Grant Programs

28 Local College Access Network: An Underutilized Resource

30 Wellness Wheel to Teen Health

38 All About FAFSA 41 11 Common FAFSA Mistakes & How to Avoid Them



UNMAZED Letter from the Editor October marks a big month for many high school seniors across the country. Not only are they finalizing some may just be beginning! college admissions to meet application deadlines, but parents and students begin filling out the Free Application for Student Aid FAFSA in hopes of reducing college costs. Like ise, scholarships from many different sources local, national, state, etc are another great source of free college money. 9his month's magazine is packed full of great information about all things college money related. While nationally college costs continue to rise, families are seeking more

ays to reduce costs.

Florida colleges and uni ersities are ranked some of the cheapest in the country

ith many different colleges and all price

points. On top of that, there are ample opportunities to earn free money for college, making higher education in Florida an easy choice. While many students kno them. For e ample, o er $1 fill out the FAFSA. Same

of these opportunities, many just do not take ad antage of

hat is a ailable to

million in FREE college money is left behind in Florida each year as students simply do not ith scholarships- e ery year our local scholarship organization has money left because not

enough students apply. Families- begin talking about it early and make a plan to a ailable. Do not begin

ork together to tap into all the college money streams

ith the negati e self talk that stop so many college-bound students. 9hings like, "We


ualify for FAFSA" or "My grades are not high enough for scholarships". Why break these myths? Remember the $1 million left in FREE money?? Locally, it's $1 ,

e ha e a scholarship that is "A erage kids

for 4 years! College can be affordable, and this month's educational e perts

By: Dr. Amanda Sterk, Senior Editor and Founder of UnMazed Magazine




ant to do great things", oh, and ill help make it so!

October 2018, ISSUE 7

Magazine articles and more can be found at www.unmaze.me Where Florida experts meet for teen success.

Contact us: We enjoy hearing from from parents, students, and educators throughout the state. Send us your photos, letters, or comments to asterk@unmaze.me. Or visit us online: www.unmaze.me Do you want to collaborate? This magazine is designed for educators across the state to share their expertise on a variety of topics. We welcome those who would like to participate in creating this resource.



UnMazed Where Experts Meet for Teen Success



Amanda Sterk, Ed.D., is CEO of Florida Center for Educational Planning and author of College UnMazed: Your Guide Through the Florida College & University System. She currently works at Florida SouthWestern State College as Director of Accelerated Programs.. Dr. Sterk has been an educator for 20 years as a teacher, school counselor, and administrator. She is founder of the Florida teen resource, www.unmaze.me.Â

Katie Reilly is an English teacher at one of the highest ranked collegiate high schools in the state, Florida SouthWestern Collegiate- Lee Campus. She is currently working towards her Master's in School Counseling and is passionate about student success.


Contributing Writers 22





Fridson Janvier is a freshman at the University of Central Florida, majoring in Character Animcation, and is a,Naples native. He was a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County for 12 years, having most recently served as President of Keystone Club and participated in their teen leadership and scholarship program (Youth of the Year). Fridson was also selected to be part of Champions for Learning and Take Stock in Children programs.

Bud Jenkins is a college and financial planner at Flroidian College Planning Resources. He assists families in making quality, intentional financial planning decisions to reduce the burden of college loans.

Ashley McNaughton is an independent college counselor and founder of ACM College Consulting, LLC. She has her BS in Business from Bucknell,, and Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. Alongside her consulting work, she volunteers with ScholarMatch, a nonprofit helping high achieving, low income students get to college. www.acmcollegeconsulting.com.

Courtney Faunce is a mental health clinician at Lifescape Counseling Services, LLC,. She specializes in working with young adults and families utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) practices with a humanistic client-centered approach.

Dr. Juniace Senecharles Etienne is a native of Miragôane, Haiti, who migrated to the United Statesat the age of 16, Dr. Etienne is a teacher and an author. She knows firsthand that education can expands one’s opportunities to succeed. Her passion is to empower and stimulate intellectual curiosity in her students.

Rob Hicks, M.Ed.,has worked in public schools for 16 years. He is a school counselor at Fernandina Beach High School and the Ogburn School. He maintains the "Getting My Guide On" blog about all things school counselor at guidey.blogspot.com and writes about local history.

20 Do you have a passion for teen success? Would you like to write for an innovative magazine written by educators across the state? Connect with us today! http://www.unmaze.me/collaborators-3/



Upcoming Featured Featured: Teen's Guide to Mental & Physical Health; bullying, mental health, and wellness

Featured: Teen's Guide to Careers; career and technical programs, choosing a major, career exploration, and personality tests Featured: Teen's Guide to High School and Program choice; accelerated programs, high school options, and specialized schooling


Featured: Teen's Guide to Mastering Testing; test preparation, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge AICE, ACT, SAT, state testing


Featured: Teen's Guide to Community Service; Internships, Volunteering, Local and State Organizations


Featured: Teen's Guide to Summer Programs; Selective Programs, Camps, Work Experience, & Local Opportunities Featured: Teen's Guide Community Resources; Resource Directory of businesses, colleges, and organizations dedicated to student success.

Do you want UnMazed directly to your inbox each month? Subscribe today at www.unmaze.me! Join 4,000 subscribers

TOP SCHOLARSHIP SOURCES While there are thousands of scholarships available to students, not all parents and students know where to start the process.

Institutional Institutional scholarships come from the university to bring down the price of tuition, room, and board. Sometimes, because of test scores, grades, and your student demographics, you just receive them- other times you have to apply! Be sure to ask the college's financial aid office for help.

National National scholarships are from large corporations like Coca-Cola, American Council of the Blind, Siemens Corporation, Don't Text and Drive, and more. These usually have larger monetary value, but more people apply. Usually an essay, reference, or something else needs to be done to be considered.

Local Local scholarships come from the community where students live. While these scholarships are smaller in value than larger national scholarships, less people are applying for them making them very accessible to students.

Micro-Scholarships Raise.Me has been a game changer for how universities give money. Instead of the old thought of apply, then decide, micro-scholarships are scholarships your student can earn in small increments throughout their school career.

Federal While not necessarily a scholarship, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), can provide grants, loans, and access to scholarships that otherwise could not have been recieved.

State Florida offers multiple state scholarships, the most known is the Florida Bright Futures Scholarships to qualifying students. Scholarships range from $1,000 to full college tuition.

Infographic and information provided by College UnMazed: Your Guide Through the Florida College &University System

Florida College Admissions Made Easy Online Course

Online Course Chapters Importance of Your College List What Admissions Don't Want You to Know Building Your Documents Applications: What you Need to Know After the Application

Take the guess work out of Florida college admissions. This step-by-step course breaks down everything you need for a successful admission season. Â FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.FLCENTEREDU.ORG

TERMINOLOGY: SCHOLARSHIPS & FINANCIAL AID ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS 9hese scholarships are based upon athletic ability and your prospecti e college’s departmental needs. Di ision I, II, and III college athletic scholarships are ery difficult to recei e because of fierce competition. AWARD LETTER An e planation of the financial aid a college loans and

ill gi e a student,

hich may include grants, scholarships, student


CORPORATE SCHOLARSHIPS 9hese scholarships are a arded to help employees and their families, sho

community support and to encourage

future job seekers to ard a career in the company’s area of business. Corporate scholarships are much less competiti e than other types of scholarships because of geography, employment and the relati ely lo applicants. Start

ith your family's employers, check out the ne spaper and see

a arding scholarships, and then contact these businesses to find out ho

number of

hich companies in your area are

to apply.

EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION EFC E pected Family Contribution is the amount of financial contribution a family is e pected to pay to ards the cost of college. 9his amount is based on a federal formula, and determines the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid. 9he EFC appears on a Student Aid Report SAR ,

hich is recei ed after a student's FAFSA is processed.

FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID FAFSA A form that all students must fill out to be considered for federal financial aid. FINANCIAL AID Money you recei e for you college tuition or e penses that you may or may not ha e to pay back. See: Grant, Loan, and Scholarship

FULL COST OF ATTENDANCE 9he full cost of attendance refers to all e penses rele ant to attending a particular postsecondary institution. 9his estimate is pro ided by the institution and includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board, transportation and personal e penses and is different for each institution. Cost of attendance calculators, sometimes referred to as net price calculators, can be found on each institution's


GRANT A form of financial aid from a non-profit organization such as the go ernment that you do not ha e to repay. INSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS 9hese scholarships are a arded by the college or uni ersity to reduce the cost of attending. Often these scholarships

ill be

based on e tra-curricular in ol ement, academics see merit scholarship , student demographics or other criteria. Upon admission student’s application

ill be re ie ed for different scholarships, some automatically applied or some are to be

applied to. INTEREST BEARING LOANS Interest bearing loans ha e an attached interest rate


ill ha e to be repaid in addition to the amount of the loan.

Interest is a fee charged to use the money. Interest rates are the rates charged to borro Interest rates on loans can be fi ed

the funds from an institution.

ill remain at the same initial rate or adjusting potentially increasing o er time.

LOAN A form of financial aid that you must repay. Loans are an amount of money pro ided to an indi idual on the terms that the money and gained interest

ill be repaid in full. Loans can be offered by the Federal Go ernment, or by pri ate institutions

such as banks or other financial institutions. 9here are t o types of Federal loans -- subsidized and unsubsidized. 9hese loans can ha e a fi ed interest rate, adjusting or in rare cases are interest free. Loans may be taken out by one indi idual or "co-signed"

here more than one indi idual is responsible for the repayment of the loan.

LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS Local scholarships typically come from the community in

hich the student resides. 9here is typically an application process

and ha e differing criteria. 9ypically smaller in denominations, students can often

in multiple as there are fe er applicants.

MICRO-SCHOLARSHIPS Becoming more popular, students can begin entering in their resume to start accruing smaller denominations for their in high school. Micro-scholarships allo


students to see their potential scholarship upfront before they apply.

MERIT AID Financial aid that is a arded based on a student’s achie ements and/or talents e.g., academic, athletic . NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS 9here are a tremendous amount of scholarship sites out there

ith large organizations gi ing a ay money. 9ypically these

scholarships are larger in denomination but more students are applying. NEED-BASED AID Financial aid that is a arded based on a student’s ability to pay for college.

NEED-BLIND ADMISSION Full consideration of an applicant and his or her application

ithout regard to the indi idual’s need for financial aid.

Student to earn money to help pay for the costs associated

ith college.

PELL-ELIGIBLE A "Pell-eligible" student is eligible to recei e a Pell grant,

hich is a need-based grant pro ided by the federal go ernment. 9o be

"Pell-eligible" students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA and be seeking their first post-secondary degree. 9he amount of the a ard depends on the student's e pected family contribution EFC , cost of attendance, enrollment status full or part time and if the student http://

ill attend for a full academic year or less. For more information please


2.ed.go /programs/fpg/inde .html

PELL GRANT Pell grants are a arded by the Federal Go ernment to students

ho demonstrate financial need. Only students

their first degree are eligible for Pell Grants. Recipients can study at any appro ed post-secondary institutions,

ho are pursuing hich are then

responsible for distributing the grant. PRIVATE LOAN A pri ate loan is from a financial institution other than the Federal Go ernment such as a bank or other financial institution. Pri ate loans are typically unsubsidized loans and can either ha e a fi ed interest rate

ill remain at the same initial rate or


be adjusting potentially increasing o er time. Pri ate loans typically ha e a higher interest rate than those offered by the Federal Go ernment. PRIVATE ORGANIZATION SCHOLARSHIPS 9hese scholarship opportunities number in the millions. Places of

orship, labor unions, school districts, chambers of commerce

and philanthropic organizations are all e cellent sources for college scholarships. Sit do n

ith your family and make a

scholarship search list of potential sources. ROOM AND BOARD Room and board is a typical name for the cost associated

ith li ing in on-campus housing and participating in a meal plan

offered by the post-secondary institution. SCHOLARSHIP A form of financial aid that you do not ha e to repay. TUITION 9uition is the cost of the academic program at a post-secondary institution. 9uition is generally charged per credit hour. It aries for each post-secondary institution, and may ary depending on a student's residency status, and le el of course ork. WORK STUDY A job typically on campus that allo s a student to earn money to help pay for the costs associated

ith college.


The Power of Local Scholarships

One of the most o erlooked money resource for many families is local scholarships. Many families simply do not kno scholarships,

they e ist. Unlike national

here hundreds of students may

apply, local scholarships often see only a handful of applicants, sometimes only one or t o! Making great odds for applying students!

in aluable money resources; for some their only path ay to higher education. What is


ariety of scholarships for

many different types of students. Contrary to hat people belie e, local scholarships are not just for the "high achie ers" but also for those ith financial need, a erage students, or meet another niche. Local








programs that belie e in supporting students in their

uest for higher education to gro


prosper the ne t generation of leaders, inno ators, and

2. Specific uni ersities or colleges in-state or outof-state .







engineering, first generation student, etc. 5. Community ser ice or in ol ement . E tra-curriculars sports, music, etc. 7. Organization a parent

orks for


company, real estate, education, etc. . In ol ement in a special organization Ki anis, Rotary Club, Girl/ Boy Scouts, etc. 9. Financial need DOCUMENTS NEEDED 1. Application



la , nursing, medicine, etc.

4. Academic achie ement

I ha e had se eral students be a arded these

is that they offer a

1. Specific career or program paths education,





managed by a community foundation that is

2. Recommendation letters . Essay 4. 9ranscript and/or standardized test scores AC9/ SA9 For 2 1 -2 19 the SW Florida Community Foundation

a arded

different scholarships.

o er








Webinar Link SW FLORIDA Resources SW Florida Community Foundation: floridacommunity.com/scholarships Community Foundation of Collier: http://www.cfcollier.org/ Collier County Scholarship Connector (searchable database): http://www.colliercountyscholarships.org/ Uncommon Friends Scholarships- https://uncommonfriends.org/scholarships/ Collier: Collier County Public Schools- http://www.collierschools.com/scholarships Charlotte: Charlotte Community Foundation: https://www.charlottecf.org/types-ofgrants/scholarships/ Foundation for Lee County: http://www.leeschoolfoundation.org/



RESOURCES Local Scholarship Websites Other Florida counties have their own community foundations, which I have listed below. It is important to check with your school counselor and school district on how to access them. This is not an exhaustive list, but note that many Florida counties and school districts have their own foundations set up to distribute scholarship funds. This is an excellent, underutilized source of scholarships. FLORIDA STATE/ COUNTY RESOURCES Florida Department of Education Scholarships- https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org/pdf/nm4c_brochure.pdf Broward: Community Foundation of Broward- http://cfbroward.org/scholarships Eastern Florida: Eastern Florida Local Scholarships- http://www.easternflorida.edu/admissions/financial-aidscholarships/scholarship-information/outside-scholarships.cfm Hernando: Hernando County Education Foundation- https://www.hernandoeducationfoundation.org/p/61/studentscholarships#.WRnM6GjytPY Hillsborough: Hillsborough Education Foundation- http://www.educationfoundation.com/scholarships Indian River County: Scholarship Foundation of Indian River County - http://www.sfindianriver.org/ Northeast Florida: Community Foundation for Northeast Florida- https://www.jaxcf.org/file/2016/01/2015-TCF-PutnamCounty-Grants.pdf Ocala & Marion: Ocala Marion County Community Foundation- http://www.ocalafoundation.org/ Okaloosa, Walton & Bay County: http://fun4emeraldcoastkids.com/Education-Childcare/Scholarship-Opportunities/ Osceola: Osceola Education Foundation- https://www.foundationosceola.org/p/10/scholarships#.WRnOJ2jytPY Palm Beach & Martin: Community Foundation for Palm Beach & Martin Counties- http://www.yourcommunityfoundation.org/ Pinellas County: http://www.collegefundpinellas.org/ Polk: Polk Education Foundation Scholarships- https://www.polkccf.org/grants/scholarships.html Sarasota: Community Foundation of Sarasota County- https://www.cfsarasota.org/Students/Students-Supporting-YourEducation

Where to check for local scholarships: 1. School Counselor's Office 2. School District's Website 3. County Foundations



FEATURED Ask the Expert: Institutional Scholarships

Florida International University In my ie , one of the least talked about categories of scholarships is the institutional scholarship. 9hese are scholarships that are a arded by the college or uni ersity themsel es or by an organization ery closely related to an indi idual post-secondary school such as a greek organization or alumni group. I belie e the reason these are among the least talked about forms of financial aid is because the people scholarships


ho are asking about

are asking the

rong people

school counselors . E ery



Washington DC has. You can’t e pect a random counselor at your high school to kno

anymore that you can e pect him or her to kno





scholarships. Ho e er, the ones at the Uni ersity of Mississippi, for e ample, are going to be completely different than the ones Georgeto n Uni ersity in

can speculate that South Bend has some fast food restaurants, there’s probably a Me ican place, a pizza joint, a sports bar



ings, but ho

is the counselor

supposed to kno

the e act menu of all those

restaurants? If you

ant to kno

hat’s good to eat

around Notre Dame, you need to talk to someone in ith institutional scholarships.

9he best place to start your search is financial aid offered


ith a college’s

ebsite. Many of these scholarships admission





ill be


aid package. 9hese are recruiting tools for the colleges. If the college



best places to eat in South Bend, Indiana. Your counselor

South Bend. So it is uni ersity

all about those

FEATURED Know How Colleges Give Money 1. Go to Big Future.Collegeboard.org 1. Type in college interested in. 2. Go to "Paying" under School Info. 150

3. Go to "Financial Aid by Numbers". 100 33







50 67





0 Florida SouthWestern State College University of Central Florida Florida Southern College Florida Gulf Coast University University of Florida University of Miami Scholarships/ Grants


ants you to come, they’ll offer you some money to

peak your interest. More often than not, the application

Loans/ Jobs

inter ie

ith a single old lady. Simply put, these can go

a lot of different


for these simply means completing the FAFSA and of course your admissions application. Ho e er, there is a hole

orld of other institutional scholarships and the

If you’re really serious about finding scholarships, you ha e to look for them. 9here’s a chance some of these

mechanism for applying for them can ary greatly from

scholarships aren’t e en on the college’s

one college to the ne t. 9his is

your eyes peeled at orientation and after you start college

financial aid

hy looking at the school’s

for ne spaper ads, flyers, and other

ebsite is so important.

ebsite. Keep enues around

campus. Just because you’re already in college doesn’t 9hese


scholarships might be offered by an

mean you can’t find ne

scholarships. Some could be

ithin the school, they could come

a ailable e clusi ely for upperclassmen. 9his is a great

from a certain club, or at the be uest of an indi idual

ay to reduce your financial aid burden and because

indi idual department

alumni. Big schools might ha e hundreds of these and


some of the scholarships might ha e ery narro

competition can be lighter. You just ha e to decide ho


9he application might consist of a three-page essay that’s re ie ed by a panel or it could be a simple phone


re uire




home ork,

hungry you are for financial aid and hard you’re ork to track these do n.

By: Rob Hicks, School Counselor at Fernandina High School and blogger at www.guidey,blogspot.com


illing to


Fridson Files: My Path to Scholarships Let’s be real. College is e pensi e! In order to reach


our goals and achie e our dreams,

e ha e to pay up,

9he due date of a scholarship is the date that your

right? Well, not necessarily. 9here are so many

application must be in the hands of the scholarship

organizations and indi iduals ready and

committee. 9herefore, use the due date as a guideline

illing to

help us find a path ay to success, and many that


offer financial assistance to co er the high cost of

completing all re uired tasks for your application.

post-secondary education programs. It’s just a matter

Make sure you gi e your teachers/mentors enough

of learning to na igate the process, and dedicating

time to


rite recommendation letters at least t o

eeks is ideal , and allo

yourself plenty of time to

I dedicated myself to the scholarship application

gather information and complete any re uirements of

process, and ha e been re arded ten-fold.

your application. Don’t delay! Procrastination is not an

Here are si

option. Late applications are not accepted.

tips about applying to scholarships,

straight from 9he Fridson Files:


ork back ards to establish a timeline for


Keep general information on file/USB. Most



churches, just to name a fe

re uire

local possibilities. 9he


Florida Bright Futures Scholarships seem hard to

returns, and

achie e, but they are attainable – I recei ed a 75%

income information of both you and your parents.

tuition scholarship for studying hard in high school,

Compile all of this information and keep it both on a

getting high scores on standardized tests, and

USB and in your computer files. 9his

completing a plethora of community ser ice hours.

information such as transcripts, ta

ork on scholarship applications long as you ha e the USB

ay, you can

here er you are as

ith you, and you ha e a

Write essays in ad ance to allo

time for peer edits.

backup file some here else in case the USB is

Scholarships usually re uire at least one essay. 9his

misplaced or broken. Ha ing this information handy

allo s the scholarship committee to get to kno

means you can print it, attach it to an application, or

and hear your ie points

email it as needed

essays should reflect your best efforts,

ithout ha ing to find it all again


ithout an inter ie . 9hese hich means –

each time you apply to a scholarship.


notes, then an outline, and then

attention to grammar and spelling. Ha e a teacher or

Ha e a resume ready

hether they

ant it or not.

rite them last minute! Start

ith brainstorming

rite a first draft. Pay

ualified peer edit your first draft. Rinse and repeat

Ha ing a resume on file and ready to use is a great

until you get the final and best ersion you can. My

life skill. Your resume

ill ha e records of your

essays impro e

education information,

ork e perience,

products are much, much better than the first drafts.

e perience,




olunteer skills,

ith each re ie , and the final

e tracurricular acti ities, and more. Use your resume


as a reminder tool as you complete scholarship

Congratulations! You’ e completed all re uirements

applications, or ha e it ready to tailor to the

for your scholarship application! No

scholarship to


hich you are applying and submit it

you just ha e to

it all in an en elope and send it off, right?

ith your application. E en if it’s not re uired, there

Wrong! REVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW! Spend time

may be a section to include one as an option.

going through all portions of your application to be

Resumes could fill in the blanks that the application

sure all re uired items are included. Check grammar

may not reflect.


re uirements to be sure you are sending e erything


re uired and sending as instructed. Finally – make a

In my opinion, it’s better to focus on local and state

copy of your entire application for yourself to keep as

scholarships instead of national scholarships. 9hink

proof of completion and submission. Write on a sticky

about it – your odds are better to

note the date you submitted your application, and

scholarship because fe er people

in a local or state ill be applying.






stick it onto your personal copy.

Competing for national scholarships increases the

odds against you. No , that doesn’t mean don’t do

9hese si tips I had to learn the hard

any. If you find a great opportunity, by all means

by sharing them

apply for it. Ho e er, I ha e had much better luck

little easier for you. 9he main trick is to be organized,

ith local and state scholarships. My community has supported





ay. Hopefully

ith you, the scholarship process is a

stay on top of deadlines, and stay on track.


opportunities through your local Boys & Girls Club, Rotary Club, small business foundations, and By: Fridson Janvier freshman at University of Central Florida for a career in Character Animation WWW.UNMAZE.ME,



Bright Futures What Students & Parents Need to Know! In the state of Florida, high achie ing students ha e

Academic Scholars FAS , or the top tier of the

been re arded

Bright Futures scholarship, for those

ith a state scholarship called

ith a 29 AC9/ 129 SA9 and a .5

Bright Futures. Funded by the Florida State Lottery

9his ne

se eral reiterations

fees to Florida uni ersity-bound students, as

hen it pro ided scholarships to


9% of Florida

a $

ill co er 1

% tuition and ell as

te tbook allo ance, comparati ely to the

high school graduates. 9he program, since its

current le el of about $ ,

inception, has solely been based on academic merit

credit. 9he ne

and not on financial need. Ho e er in 2 11




eighted gpa.

since 1997, Bright Futures has been through ith its peak being in 2



annually or $1

re uirements


ould affect about

academic recipients for the 2 17-2 1

budget cuts throughout the state, Bright Futures

school year,


price tag for the state Clark, 2 17; Postal, 2 17;



re uirements


increasing the standardized test scores and grade point a erage, high


ith an estimated $151-1


S eeney, 2 17 .

hich only allo ed 2 % of Florida graduates





re uirements. Since then there has been discussion

What does this ne

legislation mean for Florida

students and parents?

that the state funded scholarship does not go far enough in keeping Florida’s high achie ing students

With no

the state legislature agreeing to pay

in state or reduce the hea y burden of rising tuition



achie ing students, it is no , more than e er,

% tuition and a $

book stipend for high orth

aiming for the top-tier. Here are some key things In January, se eral bills

ere put through the

Florida Legislature, that sought to increase Bright

you should kno

about HOW to recei e this


Futures funding for high school students in t o ays. Representati e Amber Mariano R-Ne Richey introduced a bill that


ould help alle iate

For more information see the Bright Futures


for eligibility re uirements.

the financial burden placed on students enrolled in


Florida uni ersities Kauffman, 2 17 . She proposed


that there should be a summer Bright Futures that

With the increased funding, aiming for the test

included the scholarship funding for summer

scores of 29 AC9 or 129 SA9 FAS or 2 AC9 or

sessions, as

117 SA9 FMS is important. Here are some things

ell as for fall and spring. A second bill

as aimed at restoring full funding for the Florida UNMAZED MAGAZINE,

to note:

Florida Bright Futures Website

a. Bright Futures will accept either test, so my suggestion is to take both and see which you score higher and that should be the one you retest on. b.

Bright Futures also uses what is called a

SuperScore meaning if you take the test more than once, they take the highest score from each section to create a ne


a. Appro ed ser ice hours may no or

go ernment

through high school, from 9th until 12th grade


ith the

last test being from the June testing date.



include business for


community ser ice organizations, or acti ity on behalf of candidates for public office. Ho e er, ser ice hours cannot be used if credit

as earned through ser ice-

learning courses. While the ne

c. Bright Futures also allo s you to test all the


ill ha e a positi e impact on

many students, students need to start preparing earlier to reach the top-tier. As

ell, it

ill still be beneficial to

look for other scholarship sources a ailable to meet the other financial costs of post-secondary education, such as room and board, fees, and other e penses.

GPA Bright Futures is calculated on a recalculated gpa, similar to ho

many uni ersities do it. 9hey take the

highest gpa from each core area to meet the high school re uirement, as

ell gi e added

eight to honors, AP,

IB, Dual-Enrollment, AICE, and other more rigorous courses. a. For e ample, a student needs

science credits to

graduate. If they take En ironmental Science A , Biology A , Chemistry A , and Physics C , Bright Futures take the

Gold Seal Vocational $39-48 Per Credit Hour

Florida Medalli0n Scholars 75% Tuition

Florida Academic Scholars 100% Tuition & $300 Books

highest grades A,A,A and drops the one that is

not needed for graduation C because it

as e tra.

b. 9his means a student, if they take MORE core classes than needed, are re arded by ha ing more opportunities to recei e the gpa re uirement. SERVICE HOURS For the top tier, 1

community ser ice hours needs to

be completed by the student throughout their high school years. It should be pre-appro ed by the school and often paper ork needs to be filled out to be submitted.

WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW Unfortunately, many students lose their Bright Futures scholarship because they do not keep up their college gpa of a . . 9his is a good reason to choose a college isely based on fit, not name. Students ha e to apply. I ha e had, unfortunately, students


thought it

ere eligible not apply because they

as automatic. Be sure to check

ith your

school counselor the process of submitting ser ice hours, transcripts, and test scores. Bright Futures transfers to any public or pri ate college in Florida. At pri ate schools, it is e ui alent to the amount a state uni ersity tuition Parents




ould be.




Application. While the scholarship is not based on financial need, Florida re uires this form to be filled out. Bright Futures is a great opportunity for many students. If you don't

ualify, be sure to check out the state's

other scholarships that are offered.



RESOURCES Florida State Scholarships & Grant Programs Access to Better Learning and Education Grant The Access to Better Learning and Education (ABLE) Grant Program provides tuition assistance to Florida undergraduate students enrolled in degree programs at eligible private Florida colleges or universities.

Benacquisto Scholarship Program FAQ The Benacquisto Scholarship Program is a merit scholarship for high school graduates who receive recognition as a National Merit® Scholar. Eligible scholars will receive an award equal to the institutional cost of attendance for an instate student minus the sum of Bright Futures and the National Merit® award. An initial application is not required.

Bright Futures Scholarship* The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program has helped more than 725,000 Florida students attend a postsecondary institution. Bright Futures awards include: Florida Academic Scholars award (FAS), Florida Medallion Scholars award (FMS), Florida Gold Seal CAPE Scholars award (GSC) and the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award (GSV).

Effecti e Access to Student Education The William L. Boyd, IV, Effective Access to Student Education Program provides tuition assistance to Florida undergraduate students attending an eligible private, non-profit Florida college or university. Each participating institution determines application procedures, deadlines and student eligibility.

First Generation Matching Grant The First Generation Matching Grant Program (FGMG) is a need-based grant program available to degree-seeking, resident, undergraduate students who demonstrate substantial financial need, and are enrolled in eligible participating postsecondary institutions. Eligible students have a parent(s) who has not earned a baccalaureate or higher degree. Participating institutions determine application procedures, deadlines, student eligibility and award amount. This program is available at Florida state universities and Florida colleges (public community colleges).

Florida Farmworker Student Scholarship* The Florida Farmworker Student Scholarship (FFSS) Program is a need-based merit scholarship that provides financial assistance to a maximum of 50 eligible students who are farmworkers (or children of farmworkers), as defined in section 420.503, Florida Statutes. Students who attend a public postsecondary institution will receive an award equal to the amount required to pay tuition and specified fees.



Florida Student Assistance Grant - Career Education Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant (FSAG-CE) Program is a need-based grant program available to Florida residents enrolled in certificate programs of 450 or more clock hours at participating Florida colleges (public community colleges) or career centers operated by district school boards. Each participating institution determines application procedures, deadlines, student eligibility, and award amount.

Florida Work E perience Program The Florida Work Experience Program (FWEP) is a need-based program providing eligible Florida students work experiences to complement and reinforce their educational and career goals. Each eligible and participating college, university, Florida college (public community college), career center operated by a district school board, and educator preparation institute determines application procedures, deadlines, student eligibility and award amount.

José Martí Scholarship Challenge Grant* The José Martí Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund is a need-based merit scholarship that provides financial assistance to eligible students of Hispanic origin who will attend Florida public or eligible private institutions.

Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship The Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship (MMB) provides financial assistance to undergraduate students who meet scholastic requirements, demonstrate financial need, and attend Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, Florida A&M University, or Florida Memorial University. Each participating institution determines application procedures, deadlines and student eligibility.

Minority Teacher Education Scholarship The Minority Teacher Education Scholars (MTES) program is a collaborative performance-based scholarship program for African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, and Native American students administered by the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc. (FFMT). The participating institutions include Florida College System institutions and public and private universities that have teacher education programs. A listing of eligible institutions and contact information is available at Florida Fund for Minority Teachers.

Rosewood Family Scholarship*

The Rosewood Family Scholarship Program was created to provide student financial assistance for a maximum of 50 eligible students who prove they are direct descendants of Rosewood families affected by the historical incidents of January 1923. Applicants are required to supply the descendant information on the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) for verification.

Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans* Award Amounts The Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans (CSDDV) provides an award to dependent children or unremarried spouses of qualified Florida veterans.

Florida Student Scholarship & Grant Programs Link WWW.UNMAZE.ME,



Local College Access Network: An Underutilized Resource I am a FutureMaker. While many of you may not kno hat that means, I bet you belie e in the shared ision that many educators, community leaders, business partners, and others ha e: to build a collaborati e net ork to ensure all Floridians ha e the opportunity to achie e an education beyond high school to prosper in Florida’s dynamic economy. Locally, the FutureMakers Coalition and FutureReady ay in regional collaboration to

focus on a Cradle-to-Career path ay to increase postsecondary completion to transform the increasing





orkforce by degrees

certifications. We do so by focusing on si



Action 9eams that focus on a ariety of systemic issues, such as early childhood-learning, post-secondary access, aligning





re uirements, increasing completion rates, establishing important and

aried post-secondary statistics and

information, and information and communication


regional partners.

the area through the FAFSA First Campaign. It pro ides a toolkit for parents and educators to help students complete their FAFSA. Other initiati es are committee dri en, such as the upcoming FAFSA & Scholarship Webinar in partnership WorkForce


ith UnMazed Magazine, study,



Connector, a regional scholarship search engine. State ide, there are 12 regional action teams, called Local College Access Net orks LCAN that ha e the support and shared ision under the Florida College


FCAN’s guiding alues are: 1. College is postsecondary education- including technical certificates and academic degrees. 2. College readiness is career readiness- PreK-12 or a career. . College is for e eryone- all Florida students deser e the




high- uality

postsecondary education. 4. College is a public good- postsecondary education is critical to our gro ing society and economy. 5. Reaching Goal 2 25

ill re uire collecti e action-

Florida needs strategic partnerships from all sectors. Why join the mo ement? Since 2

, the gro th of

jobs re uiring only a high school diploma has declined, but o er

.4 million jobs

ere added that needed a

bachelor’s degree or higher. Floridians year,

ith no more per

hile a bachelor’s degree or higher earned about

$ 7,

a year. Partnering together allo s for a


collecti e impact to help our communities gro



ith increased

ages and stronger economy.

As parents, educators, and community members, this has a direct impact on the students can you help? 1 Support- Identify

e ser e. Ho

ith the

goal. Learn about initiati es and share it

ork and ith family

and friends, 2 Join- Join a Regional Action 9eam that lead a more ibrant economy and impro ed uality of life for all,

Fund- Supporting the team by offering in-

kind ser ices, and donation of time and resources help propel the mission for ard.



than a high school diploma earned about $27,

One area of focus is on increasing FAFSA completion in



prepares students academically for success in college

Collier are leading the

Access Net ork FCAN , an independent, state ide







Social Health


Occupational Health


Physical Health









Wellness Wheel


Intellectual Health OPEN MINDNESS





Spiritual Health

Environmental Health SPENDING

Financial Health







Wellness Wheel to Teen Health By: Courtney Faunce Lifescapes Counseling, LLC



Upon each stage of human development, individuals look


for the best ways to achieve ultimate health, happiness,

education, using your unique skillset to contribute to the

and wellness. For some, this means building a strong

greater society, discovering ways to align your values,

social support network. Others may find themselves on a

interests, aptitudes, achievement, and future goals.

spiritual journey to discover peace and meaning. To

many wellness is measured by financial stability and

Physical: Your biological health, eating healthy, exercise,

security. It is through genuine self-reflection that we are


able to identify what we need in our lives in order to

preventative health care, managing dental, vision, sexual,

achieve our wellness goals.

brain and mental health, access to professional care as


However, we often become caught up with the course of

daily life, peer pressures, and external stress. Sometimes

Social: Your relationships, effective and assertive

things get in the way of this important process of self-

communication styles, maintaining healthy boundaries,

reflection. So, take the time right now to read this article

spending time with friends, family, loved ones, receiving

and examine your wellness, appreciate your strengths,

support and being supportive, building authentic

and identify areas to build upon.


According to the latest research in comprehensive

It is helpful to think of these eight dimensions on a wheel

wellness, there are eight dimensions of wellness. Here

or pie chart. Ideally, ultimate wellness would evenly

are some brief examples of each:

incorporate each dimension. However, it is more

probable that each of these sections will vary in

Emotional: Your sense of internal regulation of feelings,

proportion throughout life’s twists and turns. As you self-


reflect, some important questions may be:













utilizing healthy coping skills, engaging in positive self-

talk, self-acceptance, and authenticity.

What does my wellness wheel look like?

How do each of these dimensions make up my

Spiritual: Understanding your own moral compass, world

comprehensive wellness?

view and beliefs, guiding principles and personal values,

What dimensions are my strongest right now?

and sense of peace, meaning, and purpose.

How does my wheel match my dreams and future goals?

What dimensions do I hope to further develop?





What dimension can I focus on?

consciousness, where you spend the most time, your

Within a specific dimension, what realistic and

community, workplace, home, room, and even the car

measurable tasks will I commit to this week?

you drive.

The Wellness Wheel is a simple tool that helps you to

Financial: Your sense of financial health, conscious

engage in self-reflection, there is no pass or fail to this

spending and saving of money and resources, financial

process. If you find yourself struggling with finding your

planning as well as being an educated consumer today.

sense of balance, talk to your supports, seek consultation with a professional, try something new. Maintaining a

Intellectual: Your commitment to life learning, open-

balanced comprehensive wellness wheel takes your

mindedness towards new ideas, learning about other

willingness to commit to your wellbeing every single day.

cultures, politics, outside perspectives, discovering what

With self-compassion, acceptance, and taking action we

interests you, practicing creativity, and engaging in

can all find ways to increase our wellness and find

mentally stimulating conversations.

greater balance.


University of South Florid, St.Pete Campus, St. Petersburg

Helping Your Child Make the Decision Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers


college affordable. 9hey should ne er think that

ith helping your children choose the

they cannot go to college because they don’t ha e

right college path and find the funds to pay for the

enough money or because you cannot afford their

tuition. Luckily, it’s not as complicated as it may at


first seem. When you and your children are choosing

scholarships that are pertinent to their abilities,

a college, the decision should be made based on the

talents, and career choices and also be mindful of

college that can enhance their purpose, passion, and


their ision’s life assignment.

Financial aid is money that is gi en, earned, or lent

to help students pay their education. 9he four

In order to find such college, they need to first figure

kinds of financial aid are grants, scholarship,


loans, and

With all the college options, you may you e en begin


hat they are looking for in a college, then learn

as much as they can about their college choices, and finally make a plan on ho

the tuition

ill be paid.







financial aid and student loans

ork-study. Students



ho need help

paying for college are often able to get a grant free money from the go ernment. Students can also get loans that they don’t need to repay until

Step 1 – Figure out

hat they are looking for

they lea e college. Additionally, there are a

Choosing a college is much easier if your children

number of


costs. Here is a partial list:

hat they are looking for. When choosing a

ays your children can cut college

college, they of course the cost. • Encourage your children to go to a public fourCost: 9alk to your children about ho

year college in your home state.

to pay for college. When they are choosing a college,

• Ha e your children earn an associate’s degree at

cost is something that they need to take into

a community college.

consideration. 9here are many


they are going


ays of making

University of South Florida, Tampa

Florida Polytechnic University, Lakeland

• Ha e your children start at a community college or technical college and then transfer to a fouryear college after a year or t o. • Encourage your children to li e at home instead of in a dorm or apartment. Figuring out ho

confusing, but there are resources to help you. For e ample, your children’s high school guidance counselor can gi e you information about the financial aid process and all colleges ha e financial aid counselors a ailable to help students and parents.

uestions I suggest that they can

ask to get the con ersation started: Where did you go to college? What

as your major? Ho

has a

college education helped you? Do you ha e any you should ha e a con ersation

ith your children

and their guidance counselor about the best possible college options so that you can effecti ely guide them on the right path. 9ry to gi e them the best possible ad ice as you can, and be honest ith them and yourself throughout the process. As much as possible, try to guide them do n their o n path and not yours.

Step 2 – Learn as much as they can about their college choices

I kno

from personal e perience the importance of

helping your children figure out their o n path and ho ha e

attended college about their college e periences. For e ample, they could talk to their teachers, family members, and family friends about their college e periences.

9hese are a fe

suggestions or ad ice for me? Most importantly,

to pay for college can be

Your child should ask people they kno

University of Miami, Coral Gables

not o er asserting your o n

ishes for their

future. All throughout their high school years, I had encouraged


t in




pharmaceutical careers. 9hey did so, but after the second year of college,

Continued on page 34



Continued... "I now see years later that they have crafted their own paths and will be successful in using their gifts to By: Dr. Etinne Juanice , author of 3 Steps to Guide Your pursue their true purposes" Children's Educational Future they both realized that pharmacy

as a far cry

from their true passion and purpose. I de astated at the time, but I no


see years later

that they ha e crafted their o n paths and


College Options ha e a lot of resources for scholarships based on degree choices. In collier county, there is the community foundation is a reliable source as


ell for scholarly. Once

be successful in using their gifts to pursue their

your children kno

true purposes in the fashion industry. Looking

college, they can do an online search for the

back, I could ha e sa ed myself a lot of

colleges that meet their specific needs and look

frustration and financial difficulties if I had

for in house scholarship that they can apply.

hat they’re looking for in a

helped them clearly define their plans at an earlier age.

Encourage your children to start the process early. 9hee is al ays money a ailable, but they

Another resource is reference books in guidance offices, bookstores, and libraries, as

must be

ell as

illing to do the

ork, by applying, and

riting an essay.

information that can be obtained online. 9he My

Florida 4 Year College Graduation Rates



of FAMU students graduate in 4 years.


of Florida college students graduate in 4 years

of UF students graduate in 4 years.


of FSU students graduate in 4 years.

FEATURED Florida Students Leave Behind $100 Million in Free College Money

In the state of Florida alone, o er $1

million is left

9o help increase FAFSA completion, this year the

behind e ery year in free college money that is a ailable

federal go ernment is continuing the early push for

to make college tuition affordable for many families.

FAFSA completion as the application opens October

According to a recent sur ey by the Uni ersity of

1st promote earlier financial aid decisions by the o er





colleges and uni ersities in the state of Florida, as

secondary degree attainment is a sound in estment for

ell as allo ed families to use prior-prior year

their child and o er




% of families desire for their child

currently 2 1

ta returns to simplify the process. It

to obtain post-secondary education, only

% of study

should be noted that post-secondary institutions



a ard FAFSA money as applications come in and

belie ed



Surprisingly, one of the main funding access channels to

acceptance letters go out. For students

reduce college e penses, the completion of the Financial

earlier, more money is gi en on a first-come first-ser e

Application of Federal Student Aid FAFSA


as only

ho apply

used by 55% of Florida high school students. Without completing the FAFSA application families are denied

As a former school counselor, I found that many

access to the o er $15 billion dollars

families hold the myth that they

grants, loans, and

orth of federal

ork study opportunities a ailable.

ould not ualify for

financial aid including grants, loans, and

ork study.

Ho e er, this is simply not the case. Out of recent While initiati es are in place at local high schools and

Florida undergraduates,



some type of financial assistance from their post

SouthWestern State College’s College Sunday e ent

secondary institution. Another common myth is that

held in late October, Lee County FAFSA Nights,

financial aid comes predominately in the form of loans

numerous speakers in classrooms, and programs by

that ha e high, inflated interest rates that can ha e

school counselors, the surrounding fi e county areas are

long lasting effects on students. While loans can be

continuing to fall short for FAFSA completers. Current

offered to a student and their families, these can be

totals for the 2 17-2 1

accepted or denied depending on the needs of each




school year cycle for FAFSA

7% of students recei e

completers are; Charlotte 42.4%, Collier 52. %, Glades

family. Ho e er,

47. %, Hendry, 47.9%, and Lee 4 . %. Last year, the

the $141 billion distributed by the U.S. Department of

top completer high schools Oasis High School in Cape

Education Office of Financial Student Aid each year,

Coral let the fi e county districts



ith a completion rate

. %, Gulf Coast High School came in second at

4.2%, and Fort Myers High School at



. %.


hat is often not kno n is that of

as distributed in the form of Pell Grants,

hich does not need to be repaid. In Florida alone, $2.

billion in Pell Grants


ere a arded to


98,442 Florida students filed their FAFSA Florida students earned an estimated $195,141,041 in Pell Grants!


of Florida students filed their FAFSA.



of Charlotte

48% of Glades

of Collier



of Lee

of Hendry

9o help increase FAFSA completion, this year the

Families need to better understand the process of

federal go ernment is continuing the early push

completing the FAFSA and

9o begin to close this $1

million gap in free college

their student’s future. While secondary and post-

money for Florida students continued discussion and

secondary educators are e panding their Financial

support needs to happen from educators, counselors,

Aid presentations, one-on-one counseling, and


access to materials, more a areness needs to be


organizations, Demystifying

and the




hat it could mean for

done so e ery student has a chance to reach their

process is an integral part of the plan that includes

dreams of post-secondary education.

e planations of the abo e myth, as

transparency in ho


ell as more

orks. By: Dr. Amanda Sterk, Founder of Florida Center for Educational Planning



FAFSA 9he FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the standard form used by all schools to determine the amount of federal aid a student


recei e. 9he application opens on October 1 each year and closes the follo ing June

. 9he FAFSA

calculates the EFC E pected Family Contribution , hat the go ernment considers a reasonable amount the family should be able to contribute to the student's educational costs parent




hether or not a to



education. that the earlier you file, the

more funding you may recei e as some grants are gi en on a first come, first ser e basis. Also, each state and college has their o n deadline for


you need to file, and these often fall around the time the college applications are due. While the FAFSA is primarily used to determine federal funding, some schools also use it to determine the distribution of their o n institutional aid. 9herefore, it is often recommended that all students fill out the FAFSA hether or not they think they


be eligible for federal aid.

student plans on attending college. It is completed using prior-prior ta year data for the student and parent s . So if you are filling it out for the 2 19school




use 2 17


information. If you ha e not filed your ta es, you can



ill need to

complete the application: · An FSA ID to sign electronically you can apply for this special username and pass ord online





the application as needed. Before you begin, it is UNMAZED MAGAZINE,


fsaid.ed.go or other U.S. Department of Education ebsites and the student and one parent for each dependent

ill need separate IDs

· Your Social Security Number · Your Federal Income 9a Returns, W-2s, and other records of income earned Note: You may be able to hich

transfers the data directly from your completed ta returns to your application · Bank statements and records of in estments


applicable · Records of unta ed income such as child support or interest income · List of schools you are applying to Ensure that the information you ha e entered is accurate and complete to pre ent any delays in the processing of your application. Make sure you ha e added any schools to

hich you are considering

applying to the FAFSA application so that they recei e

9he FAFSA needs to be filed prior to each year the

2 2

helpful to gather the materials you

use the FAFSA's IRS Data Retrie al 9ool

It is important to kno

and do it early,

By: Ashley McHaughton, ACM College Consulting, LLC

the information. If any financials need adjusted or schools need added, you can go back in and update the application later. If your family's financial situation has changed for the current year and the ta information you must use for the application does not properly reflect it, it is important that you contact each of the colleges and inform them of your current situation.


11 Common FAFSA Mistakes and How To Avoid Them October is no

the month that millions of families

and the student actually needs the money for

disclose their financial data to the Department of

school, it is anticipated that many more Special

Education through the Free Application for Federal

Circumstances appeals

Student Aid FAFSA . Filing used to be in the

change o er this timeline

month of January prior to the fall admission for

on parental ability to pay! 9here is a right ay and a rong ay to make these

most all students. 9his change




as made by

E ecuti e

ill be made. 9hings may ill ha e an impact



detailed e planation of your


President Obama as an

specific situation.





appropriately align the

Specifically, more than 2

FAFSA filing


ith the


a ailability of actual ta


data filed

ith the IRS.

Depending on the statistic you

procedure has

prefer to use, any here from

9his ne


applications each


been a recommendation

7 —9 % are submitted

of industry professionals

errors. An error-filled FASFA

to undo the need for

ill likely reduce the amount

estimating income and

of aid you might recei e.

assets, since, generally

Gi en that the FAFSA has

speaking, ta returns are

been called the gate ay to

filed before the due date

financial aid, and

of April 15th and, thus,

e er




authenticity of the filed

imperati e


ha e



ith the costs

ith college, it is to


ta return, subjecting the filing to changes if the estimates are off - a

mistakes in completing it. Here are ele en ays to reduce the likelihood

serious problem in

of your FAFSA containing errors:

ualifying for Federal

financial aid.

Failure to Submit Because Of Income high In essence, this Order has e tended the

or low . Many times families

planning horizon from a base year of the

a FAFSA belie ing they make too much

student’s junior year to his/her sophomore year.

money to ualify or they make less and think

Moreo er,



differential bet een




t o


hen the filing is made

ill not submit

ill get e erything co ered because of

income. Income is one of se en factors to Continued on page 42 WWW.UNMAZE.ME,


CONTINUED... determine complete

aid the

eligibility...you FAFSA




al ays

residence home e uity is not included. Ho e er,


e uity in rental property and acation homes can

Contact me for a personal e planation of these

be included although there are


this situation.

ays to mitigate

Waiting to Submit

Contact me to discuss how to legitimately

A misconception of many is to

ait until they ha e

change the appearance of income and assets

all of their financial documents in place and ta es done before submitting their FAFSA. As stated

Misplaced Information

abo e, this is a moot issue no

Al ays remember the FAFSA is

but ualifying for

ritten from a

many grants and scholarships has a due date to

student perspecti e as if they are the one

apply in the fall. Since some money is on a first-

completing it. When the FAFSA refers to you

come, first-ser ed basis, it is imperati e to submit

and yours , it is in fact referring to the student.

as early in October as possible.

Not Submitting Electronically

Di orce Situations

Online submission pro ides built-in edits to help

In this situation, used?

hose financial information is

pre ent errors, is timelier, pro ides an online help

It is the income and assets of the

feature, and allo s for a much simpler rene al

household including step-parent info in


process. And do not forget to use the Internal

the student spends the majority of their time and

Re enue Data 9ransmission system

recei es a majority of their support.

accelerate the auditing of your filing.



Understating Income If you contribute to a 4 1K, 4 pre-ta

B, etc. or any other

retirement account, you must add back

Taking Your Time When Answering Questions Gi e yourself time to think through the

any contributions in the pre ious year to your


income for FAFSA purposes.


9his in effect

produces a higher FAFSA income than

hat might

hat they are asking. Ans ering uestions a ay can preclude you from recei ing aid or


be sho n on your ta return.




follo ing


uestions highlight this fact:

O erstating Assets Many


When asked if you are interested in




assets as part of their in estments or net

ork study,

al ays ans er yes . It does not mean you



get it nor does it mean you ha e to take it. But

hen in fact retirement assets should not be

hat if the a ard is a great offer for the hours

included here.

e pected?

When it asks for the student's email address,

Real Estate

al ays put your email address. 9his ensures all

Another common

ay families o erstate their

assets is by including the e uity they ha e in their primary residence. For FAFSA purposes, primary



information communicated to you or your student comes to you to re ie .

CONTINUED... Question

9 should be ans ered subject to

hat is

Using the right Form

indicated on Line 1 of your W-2 or, if self-employed,

Complete the FAFSA for the year your student


prompts on the

college for the upcoming fall school year, NO9 the

FAFSA on-line. 9he FAFSA calculates your social

school year you are currently in. 9his is a huge but

security ta es

common mistake. Make this one and your student

the list of items on the 1 4

hich are actually a deduction from AGI

ill be in


and, therefore, an impro ement in E pected Family

recei e no aid for the follo ing school year. Your FCPR

Contribution EFC .

ad isor can help you minimize mistakes

FAFSA submission so that you ma imize your potential

Failing to Sa e as You Go

aid a ard.

Be sure to sa e your file e ery couple of pages as you

go. You don't

ant to get half ay through and find

your computer or the go ernment's ser er has locked up.

By: Bud Jenkins, Owner of Floridian College Planning, LLC.

ith your


Students: How to Talk About Money While it is tough to talk finances

"Finding money needs to be a priority- with enough focus and dedication, opportunities will come your way."

ith your parents, this

is the time to sit do n and find out

hat they are able

to contribute to your schooling. Questions to ask: 1. What you

ill be in charge of repaying?

2. Do you need to borro

the money? If so, ho ?


What are your parents' e pectations of you

orking during school? 4. Are there other alternati es to bring do n your cost like li ing off-campus, not ha ing a car, to meal plan or not meal plan? What are you each comfortable ith forgoing? 5. What about incidental e penses? Besides school supplies


hat about gas, pizza on the

eekends, trip to Publi for Vel eeta and Chips I li ed off of that for my freshman year! , "ha ing fun" money, etc.

Questions to ask: 1. Ho

Also, finding money needs to be a priority- meaning, after you ha e submitted your applications this should be considered a part-time job. With enough focus and dedication, more opportunities

ill come your


Once you kno

the net price you

a budget no

before you select your school specific

cities are more e pensi e- ho

ill need to pay, build does this affect your

budget? and ha e this discussion. As a young adult, you ha e to stick to this plan as it means racking up debt later on.

Parents: How to Talk About Money much are

e planning on co ering?

2. Ho

can I help my student find and apply to

scholarships? . What post-secondary options are best to meet our financial needs? 4. Ha e I been clear to my child

hat is e pected of

them? 5. What type of college e perience do our child? Ho

e e pect from

does that impact financial support part

time job, car, tra el, special programs, etc ?

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