Financial Aid

As we are all aware, education creates opportunities. The rising cost of college is a barrier that many students and their families face. It is important to know that there is money available. One option is to apply for Federal Student Aid. There is assistance through grants,low-interest loans, and work study programs.

 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when applying for financial aid:

 

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1, 2014. You can file the FAFSA on-line at www.fafsa.ed.govor with a paper application. Paper applications for Federal Student Aid will be available in the Student Services Office in December. The information that you provide will be based on the last taxes. File early.  MANY COLLEGES HAVE PRIORITY DEADLINES!

 

If completing the FAFSA on-line, obtain a Personal Identification Number(PIN). This is required to apply and track the status of your application. Apply for this at www.pin.ed.gov.

FINANCIAL AID

SENIORS PURSUING A 4-YEAR COLLEGE OR TECHNICAL COLLEGE MUST FILL OUT THE FAFSA FORM


Contact the Financial Aid Office at the college or university of your choice. Ask them to send you a copy of their available scholarships. Also, notify them of any unusual financial circumstances that your family may have, such as large health care bills, tuition paid for private school for younger siblings, or recent layoffs.


Finding a way to Pay for College & Career Training

Planning to go to college or a career technical school? There’s money to help you pay for it! Just because you may not qualify for one type of financial aid doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for other types. Here are options to explore:

First things first

  • Fill out the FAFSA! Regardless of financial status or enrollment plans, everyone should complete the FAFSA!
  • Be aware of deadlines. Deadlines vary by school and scholarship organization, be sure to track due dates.
  • Contact various financial aid offices at the college or training site, they are there to help.
  • Have a resume and personal statement ready.
  • It’s never too early to start looking. Scholarships are available for as young as 7 years old, and include summer enrichment, study abroad, and research opportunities for students.

LEARN MORE ABOUT PAYING FOR COLLEGE

If you do not know where to start these sites have all the information on the different types of aid and how to get it.
 

www.finaid.org
www.studentaid.ed.gov
www.collegegoalwi.org
www.KnowHow2GoWisconsin.org

WISCONSIN STATE AID PROGRAMS

Aid programs specifically for students of/in Wisconsin.

State of Wisconsin Higher Education Aid Board
Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Programs (WEOP)
Fund For Wisconsin Scholars (FFWS)

Wisconsin Grants for Foster youth

If you are or were in foster care, you may qualify for up to $5,000 for college or job training in addition to other student aid.

www.dcf.wisconsin.gov/youth
www.fc2success.org
www.orphan.org
www.orangewoodfoundation.org

FEDERAL PELL GRANTS & OTHER FEDERAL AID

Learn more about federal Pell Grants and other federal grants you don’t have to repay, as well as low-interest federal loans for students and parents.

www.studentaid.ed.gov
www.edfund.org
fafsa.ed.gov

For one on one help completing the FAFSA, and a chance for a $1000 scholarship, be sure to attend a College Goal WI workshop starting November 2nd.

What to Bring?

Click HERE to download a copy of the checklist and site locations.

You will need the following items in order to complete your 2017-18 FAFSA. If you are considered a dependent student for financial aid purposes, you will also need these items for your parent(s).

  • 2015 Federal Tax Return and W2s.
  • 2015 Untaxed Income Records, such as child support or veteran’s non education benefits
  • Information on savings, investments, business assets and farm assets (if applicable)
  • Driver’s License (if you have one)
  • Social Security Number
  • Alien Registration Card or Permanent Resident Card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Date of birth for parents
  • Month and year of parents’ marriage, divorce or separation

Loan Forgiveness & Cancellation

While loans can be intimidating, there are programs to cancel or forgive debt, as well as ways to reduce payments. More information is available here

VOLUNTEER SERVICE

You may be able to earn money for college, or pay off loans, by becoming a volunteer with AmeriCorps or specific service scholarships.

www.americorps.gov
www.nationalservice.gov
www.peacecorps.gov

Helpful College sites

Wisconsin Colleges and Universities System – The UW system provides a variety of resources to find the right fit for you.

www.wisconsin.edu
uwhelp.wisconsin.edu
majormania.uwex.edu
Campus Specific Scholarships are available, be sure to check with each schools financial aid office.
Wisconsin Technical Colleges
Wisconsin Private Colleges
Independent Colleges
Wisconsin Education Fairs – Consider attending an education fair to talk to college admissions representatives
Midwest Student Exchange Program – Wisconsin participates in a local compact with neighboring states for reduced tuition at select colleges & universities.
MATC Promise - Students at West Allis Central High School may qualify for the MATC Promise:

MATC Promise Eligibility Criteria for the Class of 2017

  • 2017 on-time high school graduate
  • Graduate from a high school in the MATC service district and/or reside in the MATC service district
  • Register for the MATC Promise and apply for admission to MATC byFriday, January 13, 2017 -APPLY HERE!
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) byFriday, January 13, 2017
  • Achieve minimum composite score of 16 on the ACT
  • Have 90% attendance rate during 2016-2017 academic year (senior year of high school)
  • Achieve minimum 2.0 GPA during 2016-2017 academic year (senior year of high school)
  • Student and academic program must meet eligibility requirements for federal and Wisconsin financial aid.
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $4,500 or lower(A student's EFC is an index number of how much financial aid the student is eligible to receive; it is not the amount of money a student will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid a student will receive.)
  • Enroll as a full-time student at MATC for the Fall 2017 semester

Military Links

There are several programs to support education through military service:

ROTC Programs
Military Recruitment
Military Colleges
Military education benefits
Veterans education benefits
Family Liaison Office

TRAINING GRANTS AND APPRENTICESHIPS

Apprenticeship is a program that combines structured on-the-job training with related instruction often at the technical college as well as some 4 year colleges. There are also grants for skill training while you are working full time.

dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/trg_grant
dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship
uwhelp.wisconsin.edu/preparing/youth.aspx
www.wistechcolleges.org/your-education/types-degrees-and-diplomas/apprenticeship

College Entrance Exams

To be admitted to a college or job training program you may be required to take an entrance exam. Doing well on these exams can test you out of requirements or move you to more advanced courses which saves tuition costs. Common exams include:

SAT
ACT
Accuplacer

SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarships are free money for college based on need or merit. You should never have to pay to find, apply or receive one. Start your search with these free Web sites or ask your school/college for assistance. Local scholarships will be posted in the announcements and in Career Cruising

Database of scholarship-search sites
 – find one that works for you

As an example: US Department of Labor site (no account required)

Think of applying for a scholarship as having a part-time job. Let’s say you spend 20 hours searching and putting together applications and you receive a $1,000 scholarship—that’s like making $50 an hour!

Make Your Scholarship Application Stand Out

Be sure you submit everything that is required to apply for the scholarship and to meet the deadline. Have someone else check over your submission. Send originals whenever you can or clean photocopies. Consider binding materials in a brightly colored report folder to keep everything together. Also, send your materials flat, not folded, in a large envelope.

Free scholarship or a scam?

A scholarship or grant is free money—you should never have to pay to find, apply for or receive one. Here are some tips:

  • Do your own research before spending your money; most scholarship information is available for free.
  • Don’t fall for claims that “guarantee” a scholarship. Any claim should include qualifications or disclaimers.
  • Never give your credit card information, bank account information, Social Security number or student identification number over the telephone or Internet unless you made the call and know who you’re talking to. And never provide any personal or financial information to hold a scholarship or grant.

To learn more visit: www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams or www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov/lsa.

More Helpful sites

Career & College Exploration

Career Cruising & ACP
Campus Tours
College Forums
National Association of College Admission Counselors
National Career Exploration, training, & jobs
Career Placement – The ASVAB is a free Vocational/Aptitude test available to all Central HS students. 

Scholarships for Specific Populations

Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF)
Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)
American Indian College Fund (College Fund)
Hispanic Scholarship Finder (HSF)
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
United Negro College Fund (UNCF)

Careers

Resources for potential careers and how to reach your career goals:

www.healthjobsstarthere.com
www.careervoyages.gov
www.collegegrad.com

Jobs

Resources for finding jobs:

www.coolworks.com
www.wisc.jobs
www.wisconsinjobcenter.org
www.usajobs.gov

Contact:

  • Speak to your school counselor and financial aid office at your college.
  • Wisconsin Higher Education Aids Board at (608) 267-2206 or HEABmail@wi.gov
  • The Federal Student Aid Information Center toll free at 800-433-3243 or www.studentaid@ed.gov