Money for any financial aid package comes primarily from four sources: the federal government, the state government, colleges themselves, and private programs. The federal government supplies the most financial aid. Federal grant programs include Pell Grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG). Loans include National Direct Student Loans (GSL), and the new Parent's Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). The Federal College Work Study Program (CWS) provides work aid. Federal aid is awarded on the basis of need. The state of Indiana has scholarship and work programs for residents. State aid may be based on need, merit, or a combination of the two.
Colleges offer a wide variety of financial aid programs funded from their own resources and most have their own scholarship and grant programs. Deadlines and criteria vary greatly, so check with institutions' financial aid offices as far in advance as possible. Also, many private organizations provide aid to students. See if your parents' employers, labor unions, or professional associations provide programs. Check with your counselor, school library, or public library for books, articles, and pamphlets about financial aid. The Internet is also an excellent resource.
During your senior year, there will be class meetings and many announcements in regard to financial aid. In January of your senior year, you will be given the Financial Aid Form (FAFSA) which may make you eligible for state and federal financial aid. You may apply online at www.FAFSA.ed.gov. You may also apply for one or more locally sponsored scholarships by filing the Floyd Central local scholarship application.
Parents and students are invited to orientation opportunities with the high school counselors at different times throughout the school year. For Senior Night Out, topics may include post-secondary opportunities, standardized testing, admissions procedures, scholarship information, financial aid processes, and apprenticeship and military opportunities. In addition, a program called “Making College Count” may be offered during the spring semester. For underclassmen, grades nine and eleven, programs will focus on the same topics but also include diploma track information and scheduling information.
Each junior is allowed one day of exempt absence and each senior is allowed two days of exempt absences per year for college visitation. These days do not accumulate if unused. Visits to local colleges and universities should be scheduled on non-school days and will not be counted as exempt. Call the admissions office to schedule an appointment at the college. It is never too early to schedule a college visit. Use school breaks as a time to visit colleges and universities.
The guidance department has a college materials area that provides considerable information about colleges, workforce, military, financial aid, and apprenticeships. Videos from various post-secondary institutions are also available. All students are encouraged to review these materials and visit college websites.
Representatives from colleges, armed services, technical schools, and area employers visit Floyd Central periodically during the school year. Juniors and seniors may arrange to meet with these representatives in order to learn about post-secondary opportunities.
Competitive colleges closely inspect transcripts to see if students are taking rigorous courses. A recent study of admissions directors lists grades in college prep courses as the most important factor in the college admission process. Transcripts are available in the high school office or online at www.docufide.com.
Post-secondary applications are to be given to counselors a minimum of two weeks prior to the due date. An addressed envelope with two stamps must be given to the counselor along with the application fee.
Students may call toll-free 1-800-992-2076 or check the Learn More website www.learnmoreindiana.org for information on admission requirements or scholarship information on any college or university. Each college and university may have different requirements, so be sure and call for information. Students may also request information on financial assistance, post-secondary opportunities, special services for disabled students, special programs for good students, independent study and correspondence concerns, academic support services, career options, housing, and athletics.