Your COLLEGE CONNECTION SEPTEMBER 2017
Logan County High School student wins KHEAA essay contest John Hendricks, a junior at Logan County High School, is the winner of the 2017 KHEAA Promote Your School scholarship essay contest. He earned a $500 college scholarship and the opportunity for his school to be featured in future college planning materials published by KHEAA.
IN THIS ISSUE
Hendricks is the son of Joe and Kaye Hendricks of Russellville.
2 - File FAFSA starting Oct. 1 2 - FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval 3 - Common FAFSA mistakes 3 - October ILP Webinars 4 - ACT/SAT Test Dates 4 - Tips for college freshmen 5 - Repaying student loans 5 - Jeff Green Scholars 6 - Computer science opportunities 7 - Junior Planner 7 - Senior Planner
His essay addressed the topic of how education makes a stronger community.
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“A high quality educational system creates a population of problem solvers, independent thinkers, goal-oriented workers, and team players,” Hendricks wrote. One judge said that Hendricks’ essay used analogy and a strong vocabulary “to logically build the case for education and its positive impact on a community.” KHEAA staff presented Hendricks with a certificate at his school. Principal Caycee Spears also accepted a certificate honoring LCHS as the Kentucky 2018 Model School, which will be featured in upcoming college planning materials. The contest, held annually since 2003, was open to all rising Kentucky high school juniors and offered a choice of four essay topics. Hendricks and other LCHS students will participate in a photo shoot at the school. The pictures will be used by KHEAA in free college planning guides for high school students, as well as posters, brochures and other publications.
2 Students should start filing FAFSA on Oct. 1 Students planning to attend college or technical school next fall should fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible starting Oct. 1. The FAFSA determines if students qualify for federal grants and student loans. It is also used to apply for state grants and scholarships. In addition, many colleges use the information to award their own grants and scholarships. Therefore, students should submit the FAFSA even if they feel it is unlikely they will qualify for aid. The FAFSA asks for information about income, assets and expenses. A formula set by Congress determines eligibility for federal and state aid. If the student is considered a dependent under federal guidelines, both the student and parents must provide financial information. Most undergraduate students are considered dependent. Some student aid programs provide funds on a firstcome, first-served basis, so it is important to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible. Students should submit the FAFSA online at www. fafsa.gov. Students who do not have an FSA ID must first visit fsaid.ed.gov to set one up. Parents of dependent students must also set up an FSA ID. The FSA ID is needed to file the FAFSA.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool to be available Oct. 1 Starting Oct. 1, students and parents will be able to use the updated IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) with the 2018–2019 FAFSA. The DRT lets students and parents transfer tax return information needed for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) directly from the IRS website. This gives students an easy way to provide accurate tax information on their FAFSA, eliminating the need to provide a copy of parents’ tax returns. Security measures have been updated to address concerns raised by the IRS earlier this year. The updates will not let users see the tax data transferred from the IRS to FAFSA. After the DRT is finished, students will get a confirmation message telling them the information was successfully transferred. Transferred tax information will also not be visible on the Student Aid Report (SAR). Students will instead see the words “Transferred from the IRS” in the data entry fields on the FAFSA and SAR.
Take care to avoid these common FAFSA mistakes Students who plan to submit the FAFSA should avoid making these common mistakes.
1. Not completing the FAFSA.
Don’t give up on completing the FAFSA because you think it’s too hard, takes too long or you won’t qualify for student aid. You may be surprised at the results.
2. Not using the correct website.
The official FAFSA website is fafsa.gov. Pay close attention to that .gov and make sure no website you are on is asking for payment in exchange for completing the FAFSA.
3. Not getting an FSA ID now. After you register
for an FSA ID (username and password needed to complete FAFSA), it can take up to three days to be activated and ready for use. Dependent students and their parents will each need their own FSA ID if they want to sign the FAFSA online.
4. Waiting to submit the FAFSA. Some financial aid
is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis because the funds run out. Don’t wait; submit the FAFSA as soon as you can.
5. Not using your FSA ID to start the FAFSA. Students don’t have to use their FSA ID for the student information section of the FAFSA, but they should use their FSA ID to auto-fill that information. This will prevent a common error: the FSA ID signature information doesn’t match the data manually entered on the FAFSA.
6. Not reading definitions carefully, which leads to
submitting incorrect information. Read each question carefully because some questions aren’t written clearly. Check out Filling Out FAFSA Tips for clarification. Double-check all information before submitting the FAFSA to avoid the headaches simple typos can cause.
Listing only one college. Colleges can’t see the other colleges listed, so students should list any college they’re onsidering. Up to 10 schools can be added.
8. Not signing the FAFSA. This might seem too
obvious to miss, but it does happen. If you forget your FSA ID to sign your FAFSA, you can select “Forgot username/password” and reset. There is also an option to mail in a signature page with standard mail timing. You can find more information about FAFSA filing on the Federal Student Aid website.
Source: U.S. Department of Education Blog, blog.ed.gov
Webinars for KHEAA ILPs scheduled for October Webinars for students and administrators who use the KHEAA ILP have been scheduled for early October. KHEAA provides free ILP for private and home school students. The webinar for students will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, Oct. 6. It will cover using the ILP, college exploration and financial aid. The webinar for administrators is scheduled for 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, Oct. 3. It will cover how to review students’ ILPs and how to view, export and print various reports for a school. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
4 ACT National Test Dates Test Date
Late Registration Deadline (Late Fee Required)
October 28, 2017
September 22, 2017
October 6, 2017
December 9, 2017
November 3, 2017
November 17, 2017
February 10, 2018
January 12, 2018
January 19, 2018
April 14, 2018
March 9, 2018
March 23, 2018
June 9, 2018
May 4, 2018
May 18, 2018
July 14, 2018
June 15, 2018
June 22, 2018
SAT National Test Dates Test Date
Late Registration Deadline (Late Fee Required) Mail
October 7, 2017 November 4, 2017
September 8, 2017 September 19, 2017 September 27, 2017 October 5, 2017
October 17, 2017
October 25, 2017
December 2, 2017
November 2, 2017 November 14, 2017 November 21, 2017
March 10, 2018
February 9, 2018 February 20, 2018 February 28, 2018
May 5, 2018
April 6, 2018
April 17, 2018
April 25, 2018
June 2, 2018
May 3, 2018
May 15, 2018
May 23, 2018
College freshmen might find these tips helpful Incoming freshmen get the most out of their college experience with these tips from former freshmen.
1. Join clubs or teams. Getting involved provides not only an element of fun to the college experience but also life-long friends and a network to collaborate with after graduation. Students should look for opportunities related to the career they’re interested in and use it as a networking haven! 2. Prepare for the cost of college. Students should
borrow only the amount of student loan money they need, which is usually less than what they’re offered. That can set students up for repayment success in the future. Getting a campus job can greatly reduce stress from costs. And students should check for the many scholarships open to sophomores and above.
3. Know where to go for academic and financial help. Take advantage of the school’s academic and financial student services. They offer anything from tutors for challenging classes to updates on financial aid status at all times. 4. Don’t stress over picking a major. College is about
discovering passions and career interests. Students should choose a major they enjoy and adjust as needed. Focus on required prerequisites. Remember: a major is an area of study, NOT a career path. Source: U.S. Department of Education Blog, blog.ed.gov
Time for college grads to start paying student loans If you finished college in May and have federal student loans, it’s almost time to start repaying them. These tips may help. One of the smartest things you can do is pay more than your scheduled payment amount. If you ask your lender to apply the extra to the principal, you will pay less interest over the life of your loan. You have several plans from which to choose. The standard repayment plan calls for equal monthly payments over 10 years. The minimum monthly payment is usually $50. Other options include: • Graduated repayment, with lower amounts that get higher over the 10-year period. • Income-driven repayment plans, with monthly amounts based on income and family size. Some plans forgive the balance if you make ontime payments for a certain time. • Pay As You Earn, if you received no loans before Oct. 1, 2007, and at least one loan after Sept. 30, 2011.
2017 graduates named Sen. Jeff Green Scholars More than 2,100 students who graduated from Kentucky high schools in 2017 were designated Jeff Green Scholars. To earn this honor, a student must have a 4.0 grade point average each year of high school and at least a 28 composite on the ACT. They must also attend a high school whose students are eligible to earn Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) awards. These students have earned $2,500 a year in KEES funds to help pay for college. If they keep their grades up in college, they will have $10,000 to use toward a four-year degree. Releases were sent to newspapers to announce the names of local recipients. The designation honors the late state Sen. Jeff Green of Mayfield, who served in the Kentucky General Assembly from 1992 to 1997.
You will probably pay more interest over the life of the loan if you use any option other than standard repayment. Also, you may have to pay taxes on any amount that is forgiven. It is also important to remember that the federal government can change repayment programs at any time.
6 State program will give students more computer science opportunities A new state program will give for Kentucky students greater opportunities to study computer science. The program aims to fill the thousands computing jobs in the U.S. and to spur math, science, and technical education teachers to earn computer science certifications. Each year for the next three years, 50 Kentucky teachers will receive assistance that will let them help more students learn about computers. High school students will get to enroll in the AP Computer Science Principles. Middle school students can take the Computer Science Discoveries course, with elementary students taking the Computer Science Fundamentals course. The AP course teaches students fundamental computer science concepts. It can count as an elective, a fourth math course or a science requirement for high school graduation. It can also count toward a career and technical education computer science pathway. students who takes the course exam may earn college credit depending on their test score. State Sen. David Givens of Greensburg, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), the College Board, AdvanceKentucky and Code.org worked together to create the program. The College Board provides AP course. AdvanceKentucky works to expand high school studentsâ€™ access to college-level work. Code.org seeks to expand student access to computer science. KDE will take applications from more districts in spring 2018 and spring 2019.
2017â€“2018 participants are: Anderson County Barbourville Barren County Bowling Green Boyd County Breathitt County Bullitt County Burgin Christian County Clay County Clinton County Erlanger-Elsmere Fayette County Fleming County Floyd County Franklin County Glasgow Grant County Harrison County Jefferson County (Brandeis Elementary) Lincoln County Madison County
Magoffin County Marshall County Mason County Model Laboratory School Murray Owsley County Pike County Scott County Taylor County Union County Wayne County Area technology centers Campbell County Clinton County Hughes JonesHarrodsburg Marion County Martin County Russell Warren County
Sign up for activities to boost your college applications. Find out about schools you’re interested in attending. Go to college fairs and open houses and learn as much as you can from the Internet about schools. Take the PSAT. Sign up for ACT or SAT prep courses. Public high school juniors are required to take the test in the spring. Applications for the Governor’s Scholars Program are available in your counselor’s office. Sign up for the ACT and SAT if you aren’t attending a public high school. (See page 5 for a list of national test dates.) If you attend a public high school and plan to graduate early, contact your school’s counselor to complete your Intent to Graduate Early form by Oct. 1. Decide if you should take AP exams in May. Investigate the CLEP program.
Meet with college admissions representatives at college fairs or when they visit your school. Attend a financial aid seminar if your school offers one. If you haven’t picked a college yet, narrow your list by visiting schools and talking with students. You should probably talk with your parents too. If you’re going Early Decision, most schools want the applications submitted about now. If you’re going through the regular admissions process, it’s time to ask teachers to write recommendations and to polish your admissions essay if you have to write one. Check with each school’s financial aid office to see what financial aid forms they require in addition to the FAFSA. Start investigating private and public sources for financial aid. Take note of scholarship deadlines and plan accordingly. If you haven’t taken the ACT/SAT or if you think you can do better, register. (See page 5 for a list of national test dates.) Get with your counselor to find out about the financial aid sources available to you. Use KHEAA’s Affording Higher Education. Copies are sent to high school counselors, high school libraries and public libraries.