Family Resources on Financial Aid

Lesson Topic

Students develop a post-secondary funding plan through exploration of resources available.

Essential Question

How does developing a post-secondary funding plan now help keep student options open in the future?

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Financial Aid

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students learned about the three different types of financial aid and resources involving planning for paying college expenses. In class students discussed how to plan to pay for post-secondary learning and developed a personal checklist to begin the

Getting Ready for the Conversation

The video for this module features several unnamed youths and an outline of the basic types of financial aid that can be available to students. As an example, students see a website called “Georgia Futures” (which provides information specifically for Georgia high school students). Students and parents or adult mentors will need to locate similar information specific to their state or location. Different states will have different agencies that operate a state-sponsored financial aid information website.

Conversation notes:
There are a wide variety of post-secondary education options for students. Even though the term “college” is often used, please remember that this includes not just colleges offering bachelor’s degrees, but also colleges offering associates degrees or certificates. Post-secondary options may also include trade schools and trade apprenticeships which sometimes require paid tuition but in other cases are free or even offer paid apprenticeships. Because there are many options to consider, parents and adult mentors should encourage adolescents to begin post-secondary research as early as possible in high school.

State governments have informational websites about financial aid. The example used in the video is from the Georgia Student Finance Commission:

A similar site is operated jointly by several agencies in Oklahoma:

And in NY State: NYS Higher Education Services Corporation – Apply for Aid — Start Here

The College Board operates a useful website for college planning, Big Future:

US Government financial aid website is here:

Constructive Conversation Starters

The first item is for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class activities.

Share your “to do” list that you created in class. Do you think it is adequate? Why or why not?

Discuss your current family situation and how you will be able to finance college expenses. Include in your discussion various funding sources including savings, scholarships, loans, grants, and pay as you-go.

Even if you do not know what you might want to do career-wise (or even what post-secondary learning you wish to attempt), why is it important to start developing a post-secondary plan now?

Find several reputable college planning websites or other resources. Develop a list of items that will need to be completed each year (and possibly by month) between now and high school graduation. Will this least help you reach your goals? Why or why not? What additional information will you need to collect? Assess your progress. Are you on track? Why or why not? Revisit this conversation monthly.

School to Home Resources on Financial Aid

Lesson Plan

Completing FAFSA

The Georgia Futures website provides a great deal of information about financial aid, particularly for students who will be attending post-secondary institutions in Georgia. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid, called the FAFSA . The Georgia Futures website provides a checklist . Have you completed the steps on the current year FAFSA checklist? If you have not completed the FAFSA what information are you lacking? What other support do you need to complete FAFSA? If you have completed all the items on the checklist, what actions do you still need to take to make sure you are prepared to pay for college?

Georgia Student Finance application

Look at the Georgia State Aid programs listed on this webpage. Have you completed the Georgia Student Finance Application called the GSFAPPS? If not, click on the printable paper application; make a list of information or support you need to complete this form and set a goal to complete the GSFAPPS within the next week. Why is it important for you to complete the GSFAPPS?

Georgia scholarships and grants

Many Georgia students qualify for HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships or HOPE and Zell Miller Grants. Review the eligibility for each. Have you applied for program or programs that you qualify for? What actions do you need to take between now and the beginning of your college freshman year that you need to take to make sure you continue to meet eligibility? Why do you believe your plan will be successful?

Opportunities to help pay for college

There are many other opportunities available to help pay for post-secondary schooling in Georgia. Take a look at the options available at the Georgia Futures website. Depending on individual needs and interests, there are many options available to pay for college. Which ones have you tried? What are other options available to you? Develop a set of action steps regarding what you should be doing to maximize your opportunities from the choices listed. What action steps do you need to take in the coming week? In the coming month? Why do you believe these are your priorities?

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