Thomas Jefferson Future Center

Important news about college and career access

April 4, 2016 Newsletter

Hello TJ seniors! Welcome to this post-Spring Break edition of the TJ Future Center Newsletter. If you have requests for topics we should cover, just let us know at futurecenter.tjhs@gmail.com.


In This Issue:


  • Making Your College Choice
  • How to Navigate Being on the Waitlist
  • Scholarship Opportunities
  • College Tour Photos
  • Completing the FAFSA Step-By-Step
  • FAFSA Completion Resources

Making Your College Choice

So you got into college...now what?

Many students receive college admission notices on or around April 1st. For those of you who got happy news in your inboxes last week (or before then), congratulations!! Now that you've got one or more options for places to go, you may be facing some new challenges.


1) You may know exactly where you want to go, but need help figuring out how you can afford it.


OR


2) You may not be sure where you want to go or how to decide on just one school.


If you recognize yourself in either of these scenarios, read on! We've got some resources just for you.


ARTICLES

- 5 Things You Shouldn't Base College Decisions On

- How to Narrow Down College Choices

- 3 Signs You're Ready to Commit to a College

- You Got Accepted to College? Now What?


IN PERSON ADVISING

- Visit the Future Center any school day between 8AM-3PM for one-on-one advising about college choice, understanding your financial aid awards, or any other questions you have.

- Every Tuesday in the month of April from 3-4PM, the Future Center will be open for advising related to college choice and financial aid.

- If your parent would like to speak with an advisor, they may call (804) 213-2423 to speak with Ms. Hofbauer or they can make an appointment to visit the Future Center at a time that is convenient for them.


UNDERSTANDING YOUR FINANCIAL AID WORKSHEETS

- Compare Your Aid Awards

- Award Letter Comparison Tool

How to Navigate Being on the Waitlist

Got waitlisted? Here are some things you can do to increase your chances!

Read more about these tips in this article.


1. Research Your Chances of Admission


2. Express Continued Interest


3. Market Yourself


4. Move Forward


5. Consider the Cost of Acceptance

It's not too late to apply for scholarships! Also, if you're worried that your GPA isn't high enough to qualify for scholarships, there are many options without a GPA requirement. Stop by the Future Center to check out new additions to the Scholarship Wall and check Career Cruising for additional opportunities. NOTE: If you don't remember how to access Career Cruising, visit the Future Center for a quick tutorial and to get your login.

College Tour Day

38 students participated in a trip to visit three Hampton Roads area colleges on Wednesday, March 23. We toured a public, a private, and a Historically Black College/University.

Completing the FAFSA Step-By-Step

Now is the time to work on completing your FAFSA applications. Whether you are considering a four year college, two year college, technical school or certificate programs, the FAFSA will help you get access to as much FREE MONEY as possible. It only takes about 30 minutes to complete could save you thousands of dollars and help you get the degree or certificate you've always dreamed of.


Many schools have FAFSA deadlines coming up on March 15 so in order to maximize the amount of money you are awarded, you should get started on your application now!


STEP 1: Go to http://fsaid.ed.gov and create a username and password called an FSA ID.

STEP 2: Verify your email by entering the secure code.

STEP 3: Login using your username and password at http://fafsa.gov and start a 2016-17 FAFSA application.

STEP 4: Respond to the questions about you and your parents. If your parents have not filed their 2015 taxes yet, they should use their 2014 information to estimate their earnings for 2015 and submit your FAFSA now rather than waiting until they file their 2015 taxes. They will be able to update your information later.

STEP 5: Your parent creates an FSA ID and you both sign the FAFSA electronically using your FSA IDs.

STEP 6: Make sure that the FAFSA processes successfully. You should receive an email within 1 week confirming that it processed successfully (this is different from just submitting the application). You can also login to http://fafsa.gov to check the status of your application. Once you see that it has processed successfully, print a copy of your Student Aid Report and bring it to the Future Center (room 104) so we can make sure there are no errors!

STEP 7: Watch this video about what happens after you submit the FAFSA.

FAFSA Completion Resources

Help! I don't know how to complete my FAFSA!

Don't worry. Help is just around the corner! Check out these resources:


1) The Future Center (Room 104) - Staff is available in the Future Center Monday through Friday from 8am-4pm to answer questions, work with you on your application, or meet with your parents to assist them. You can reach the Future Center director to set up an appointment or ask a question by phone or text at 804-213-2423 or by email at futurecenter.tjhs@gmail.com.


2) GRASP Advisor - Ms. Phenie Golatt is a trained financial aid advisor who is available most Tuesdays during the school day to answer questions, work with you on your application, or meet with your parents to assist them. You can reach Ms. Golatt by email at tj@grasp4virginia.com.


3) School Counselor - Your school counselor is also able to assist you with completing your FAFSA application.


4) Watch this quick video that explains the entire Financial Aid Process: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/financial-aid-process.wmv