Paying for College

Scholarships and Financial Aid Steps

LOOK HERE FOR A CONDENSED VIEW OF COLLEGE RESOURCES AND SCHOLARHIPS

  1. Obtaining scholarships requires a lot of work on your part. You are unique and the scholarships each student might qualify for are different. School personnel can tell you where to look, but you must spend a great deal of time and energy researching and applying for scholarships.
  2. Make excellent grades beginning in ninth grade.
  3. Participate in extra-curricular activities and volunteer for leadership positions beginning in ninth grade.
  4. Participate in community activities.
  5. Carefully read all about the Georgia Hope Program each year beginning in the ninth grade. Once is not enough because you will forget.
  6. Create accounts on the website listed below:
    • Create an account at Upromise— free money for everbody regardless of GPA or financial need.
    • Create an account at Fastweb— Scholarship opportunites will be emailed to you based on your profile.
    • Research scholarships offered by the colleges that you are interested in.
      • Have a written list of colleges that you are interest in by the end of your junior year.
      • Look on their websites and catalogs for their unique scholarships.
      • Contact the colleges’ financial aid and admissions offices and ask about scholarships.
    • By the end of the eleventh grade year, have a written list of scholarships that you plan to apply for.
      Sources:

      • Colleges that you are interested in.
    • During Fall of your senior year, continue to research scholarships that are specific to your colleges of interest and add to your list. Continually check the counseling department scholarship listings for updates.
    • Apply to scholarships before the due date.
    • Complete the HOPE application on www.gafutures.org (Financial Aid tab -> Applications -> GSFAPPS)
    • Have you and your parents income tax information ready as soon as possible after January 1 of your senior year.
    • Apply for the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of your senior year.
      • Do this whether you think you will qualify for financial need or not. Trust us on this — do it.
      • Apply for FAFSA through your gacollege411 account. (Financial Aid Tab -> Applications.)
        • If you do not complete the FAFSA through your gafutures account, and we don’t know why you wouldn’t, DO NOT go to www.fafsa.com. The correct address is www.fafsa.gov (.gov – not .com) The .com address will try to take your money. The FAFSA is free!!