CO Community Scholarship Calendar; Deadlines Approaching!

FAFSA FAQs and Worksheet Attached

FAFSA money is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents and students need to start getting forms and information together.

Here are some FAQs

Q: When should I file the 2014-15 FAFSA?

A: As early as possible! The state Cal Grant program and many state
college and university financial aid programs have a March filing
deadline – but many schools and programs have earlier deadlines.
Some colleges ask that the FAFSA be filed as soon after January 1 as
possible! The California Student Aid Commission advises students to
file as early as possible. The 2014-15 FAFSA is filed online at
http://www.fafsa.gov

Q: How can I find out whether my college has an earlier financial aid
and scholarship filing deadline?

A: Visit the college financial aid website. The federal and state
program deadline will be the same at most schools but institutional
scholarships frequently have deadlines in January.

Q: Do I or my parents have to complete our 2014 tax returns before we
can file the FAFSA?

A: No. The FAFSA asks whether the student and parents have already
filed, will file or won’t be filing with the IRS. If the FAFSA is
filed before taxes are filed, the student and parents provide the best
estimate of their income as possible, then later, when the actual taxes
are filed, they log back into http://www.fafsa.gov and add the actual figures.

Q: Shouldn’t I wait to file the FAFSA until my parent’s taxes are
done?

A: No. File as soon as you can, then correct the FAFSA later. The
FAFSA allows students and parents to import their final tax information
from the IRS starting about two weeks after the return is filed. This
makes is very easy to update the tax info later.

Q: What questions will I have to answer on the FAFSA?

A: The FAFSA questions are all on the FAFSA on the Web worksheet. The
worksheet can be completed before sitting down to file the FAFSA. By
completing the FAFSA on the Web worksheet, students and parents can have all of the answers ready for entry, including their 2014 year financial
information. The FOTW Worksheet can be found here:  fafsaws14c

SAT Changes And College $ Trends

SAT CHANGES

WASHINGTON (AP) – The perfect score will again be 1,600. What’s more, the essay will be optional, students will no longer be penalized for wrong answers and the vocabulary is shifting to do away with some high-sounding words such as “prevaricator” and “sagacious.”
The SAT college entrance exam is undergoing a sweeping revision.
College Board officials said Wednesday the update – the first since 2005 – is needed to make the exam more representative of what students study in high school and the skills they need to succeed in college and afterward. The test should offer “worthy challenges, not artificial obstacles,” said College Board President David Coleman at an event in Austin, Texas.
The new exam will be rolled out in 2016, so this year’s ninth-graders will be the first to take it, in their junior year. The new SAT will continue to test reading, writing and math skills, with an emphasis on analysis. With the 1,600-point scale, which had been used until 2004, there will be a separate score for the optional essay. Some complicated vocabulary words will be replaced by words more widely used in classroom and work settings.
For the first time, students will have the option of taking the test on computers.

COLLEGE $ TRENDS
(A REASON FOR IB)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A new survey of the nation’s college freshmen has found that the percentage attending their first-choice school has reached its lowest level in almost four decades, as cost and the availability of financial aid have come to play an influential role in decisions of where to enroll.
The annual survey released Wednesday, conducted by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, found that while more than three-quarters of those who started college last fall were admitted to the school they most wanted to attend, only 57 percent ended up going to their top school. That was the lowest rate in the 39 years that the institute has asked first-time freshmen if they enrolled at their dream college.
Kevin Eagan, the institute’s interim managing director and an assistant professor at UCLA, said the cost of attending college appears to be largely responsible for the decline. A record 46 percent of students reported that cost was a very important factor in where they ended up, compared with 31 percent nine years ago. Meanwhile, the share of respondents who said being offered financial aid was a crucial factor in the decision to enroll at their current campus reached 49 percent – an all-time high.
“The difficult financial decisions that students and their families have to make about college are becoming more evidence,” Eagan said. “Colleges that can reduce net costs to families are gaining an edge in attracting students.”

Speech Contest and Scholarship Opportunity

Every year the Covina Lions Breakfast Club participates in the Student
Speaker Contest. Students from across Western Region of the United
States participate and students compete to move one to the next level
increasing their scholarship money along the way.

The topic of the speech is:

“Community Service: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?”

We get to select one students from Charter Oak to represent us.

Email me if you’re interested, clong@cousd.net

FAFSA yet?

@arneduncan:

More than a million students have already filled out the new @FAFSA. Start on yours today at http://t.co/Va9wBvm2.

FAFSA and TOK

FAFSA:

If you’re following my Twitter feed you saw this update already.   Here’s a link with full links and instructions for the FAFSA.

http://blog.mycollegecalendar.org/

TOK:

The first TOK meeting will be Monday night, January 14th.  Details and instructions will follow….

Under Obama, Some College Financial Aid Could Change in 2013

Despite the election results, some students could see facets of their aid awards change.

Here’s the original link:

www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2012/11/08/under-obama-some-college-financial-aid-could-change-in-2013

November 8, 2012 RSS Feed Print

President Obama's next four years may affect some ways in which students and families pay for higher education.
President Obama’s next four years may affect some ways in which students and families pay for higher education.

With the same president and a still-divided Congress, Washington, D.C. may not look much different next year. Butcollege students could see changes in their financial aid awards for the 2013-2014 school year.

[See how college students spent Election Day.]

Here’s a look at how a few programs that deal with college costs may fare in 2013-2014.

Loans: Subsidized Stafford loan borrowers should prepare for a possible interest rate jump on new loans taken next year. Though the federal loan option currently comes with an interest rate of 3.4 percent, the interest rate on loans taken after July 1, 2013 will jump to 6.8 percent, barring further Congressional action.

The current low rate was the result of a one-year delay on the increase, which Congress passed after both President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney publicly supported keeping the rate at 3.4 percent. The decision cost an estimated $6 billion, and Congress and the president, in a non-election year, are not likely to extend the low rate again, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org and FastWeb.com.

Grants: In his fiscal year 2013 budget request, President Obama called for a small but notable increase to the maximum Pell grant award, from $5,550 to $5,635 for the 2013-2014 school year. (For the past two years, the maximum grant has remained steady.) Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Pell grant program, which helps low-income students pay for college, is funded for fiscal year 2013, but could face a funding shortfall after that.

[Discover other ways to pay for college.]

Tax credits: The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which gives families up to $2,500 back for paying college expenses such as tuition and fees, may not be available in 2013-2014. The tax credit is set to expire this year, but could be extended through legislation. President Obama has requested a permanent extension of the tax credit.

Repayment: Last week, the Department of Education released a final version of the Pay As You Earn plan, which allows some federal borrowers to make loan payments based on their postgraduate income, and promises to forgive debt to timely repayers after 20 years, rather than 25. It’s one of several income-driven repayment options for federal student loan borrowers, along with income-based and income-contingent repayment.

[Learn more about federal loan repayment plans.]

“Governor Romney was opposed to the improvements in income-based repayment, and would have sought repeal,” FinAid.org’s Kantrowitz notes. “President Obama is obviously in favor of income-based repayment, and will soon implement the fast-tracking of the improved version.”

Transparency: Regardless of a particular student’s aid awards, the Obama administration has been pushing for greater transparency on college costs in general. One effort that already debuted is the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, a comparable list of costs, aid, and outcomes that hundreds of colleges have already pledged to send to admitted students starting in the 2013-2014 school year.

“[Obama] wants them to do some comparison shopping,” notes Maura Kastberg, director of student services at RSC, Your College Prep Expert, a college and career counseling company. “Families have that and can look at it and can kind of get a ballpark of how much is [the] total education going to cost, and how much debt they’re going to be in—that’s super important.”

Source USNews

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