By John Raftrey And Lori McCormick
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About this blog: We are writing this blog to give practical advice to students and parents, to reflect on issues affecting college admissions, and to provide a platform for a robust community discussion on post-secondary choices. We occasionally f... (More)
About this blog: We are writing this blog to give practical advice to students and parents, to reflect on issues affecting college admissions, and to provide a platform for a robust community discussion on post-secondary choices. We occasionally feature "guest? bloggers and invite other college counselors to join the blog team. We are members of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and the Western Association for College Admissions Counseling (WACAC).
Lori McCormick: I began my college advising career in 2006 at Notre Dame de Namur in Transfer Admissions. Since then, I have worked at San Jose State in the Career Center, for a local independent college advising firm, and for BUILD a college access program for underrepresented youth. I graduated with a BA in Sociology from UCSB and a MA in Psychology with a concentration in Career Counseling from Antioch University. I am an active volunteer with The Parent?s Club of the Peninsula (PAMP), the Palo Alto Community Child Care (PACCC) and I am a seasonal application reader for the Maisin Scholar Award
. I reside in Palo Alto with my husband and two sons.
John Raftrey: I have been advising students for the last three admission cycles. I regularly attend conferences, tour colleges, and keep up with the changing landscape of college admissions. I'll share what I learn and throw in a few opinions along the way. I moved to Palo Alto in 1991. My three sons are all veterans of PAUSD and graduated from Paly. I graduated from the University of Michigan, earned an MBA at Columbia University and hold a certificate in College Counseling from UC San Diego. In my past life I worked in TV news and high tech marketing. (Hide)
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(Written by Lori McCormick)
January 1st marks the opening of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as FAFSA. If you reside in California, you have until March 2, 2016 to submit your application.
What is FAFSA?
Federal Student Aid, is a part of the U.S Department of Education, and provides grants, loans, and work study funds to college eligible students. Applying to FAFSA is free. Even if you don’t think you qualify, I encouraged you to apply. Colleges use this application to determine your expected family contribution and colleges will grant money to students based on their financial need. If you don’t qualify for need-based aid, colleges still might offer you merit-based aid.
Who applies for FAFSA?
High school seniors, transfer students, and vocational students (confirm with your trade school if they accept FAFSA). If you are younger than a high school senior, the FAFSA4caster
is a great tool to help determine your eligibility now so that you can plan for college in the (near) future. You can find this tool on FAFSA's website (see link below).
In addition to submitting the FAFSA, the Cal Grant also requires submission by March 2, 2016. Students are eligible based on their GPA. Community College students are eligible to apply for FAFSA and Cal Grant.
What if I don’t have a social security number?
There are several resources available to undocumented students to help determine your financial aid eligibility. Here are a couple of websites to get you started on your search:
To learn more about FAFSA or to apply, click on their website
To learn more about Cal Grant, click on their website