Here are links to a couple of articles about fraternities. Not all fraternities are bad and some offer positives. However, it is good to investigate fully before joining or attending a party. There are some real dangers here that no one deserves.
Here is an editorial written by two college admissions professionals. As a former high school counselor, I had the equivalent of 400 students on my caseload. I always had so much more information to offer than I had time. Here's the article.
Of course, we hope you high school seniors filled out your FAFSA early in January, based on your 2012 tax returns. Now it is time to file your 2013 taxes and then log in into your FAFSA account and make corrections using your 2013 income.
If you need help filing your taxes, Oregon has a non-profit that helps low-income families complete this step. I recommend using them, as I believe it is important for students to learn the basics of filing taxes. Almost anyone can fill out a basic tax form with a little bit of help. Go to this website for more information. (Check to see if your state offers a similar service).
January is over, which means that seniors should have completed all financial aid forms for college. Almost everyone needs to complete the FAFSA-Free Application for Federal Student Aid. (This form is free. Do not use commercial sites with .com addresses). This qualifies you for federal need-based aid which includes, Pell grants, work-study, and federal student loans. It may also be used to qualify parents as eligible to borrow PLUS loans to help their student with tuition. Quite a few schools also use the CSS Profile. (This is a financial document created by the same people who create the SAT. This form requires a fee unless you are very low-income. In that case, the fee will be waived after you have completed the form). The last day to file the CSS Profile for students entering college in the fall of 2014 is February 15th.
Be sure to check the website of every college to which you will apply to ensure that you have completed all requirements. Nothing is more disappointing than getting an incomplete financial aid offer that can not be corrected in a timely manner. A few colleges also have their own financial aid form to complete, in addition to the FAFSA and CSS Profile. Do not hesitate to communicate with the college to make sure you understand everything you need to complete.
Kathy Garrett has been a school counselor for over 30 years, and a college counselor for well over a decade.
Kathy Garrett, College Counselor
Consulting with students in Portland, Lake Oswego and other Portland, OR suburbs about choosing colleges, and offering support, expertise and encouragement through the application process.