By now you should be all set to apply! Review your checklist from Week 5 and make sure you have all the documents and information you need.
If you are applying to a two-year or four-year school in Colorado, visit the College and University Checklist and Application Link webpage. Find your institution and click Application Info. This will direct you to institutions’ application websites.
In your CAM Workbook, fill in this table to show for which colleges, schools, military branch or apprenticeships you completed an application.
|College, University, School, Military or Program||City/State||Level of Education*||Academic or Training Program|
*Certificate, associate degree, bachelor's degree
Remember, to qualify for the scholarship giveaway, you must file your FAFSA by Nov. 9, 2018. When you're ready, fill out this three-minute survey to enter our drawing!
Get Familiar with FAFSA and Financial Aid
No matter your education path, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA. This is your ticket to earning grants, work study, loans and other financial aid that can help make your program more affordable.
Once you file, the U.S. Department of Education will send a Student Aid Report (SAR), which summarizes your eligibility information to the colleges specified on your FAFSA. From there, the colleges and universities will determine how much aid they can offer you.
Your Tasks: Understand the FAFSA application process, create your FAFSA ID and begin gathering the necessary documents.
Step 1: The financial aid process can get confusing. Watch this video to learn about financial aid.
Step 2: Create your FSA ID
As you saw in the video above, a FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log into certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on U.S. Department of Education websites, such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at fafsa.gov.
Step 2a: The FSA ID process is easy with a few easy steps. Watch this video to learn how to create a FSA ID..
NOTE: To sign the FAFSA, you and a parent or legal guardian will each need to create a unique FSA ID. You cannot share an FSA ID with your parent or guardian.
Step 2b: Once you are ready to complete the FSA ID, go to the Federal Student Aid website.
If you have questions as your completing your FSA ID, click the question mark to the right of the form or navigate to the help section of the FSA ID.
Step 2c: Once you create your FSA ID, remember to keep it safe! You can use your FSA ID immediately to complete and electronically sign your FAFSA.
Step 3: Now we’ll learn more about the FAFSA filing process. Watch this video to learn about the process.
Step 4: To prepare your FAFSA filing, you’ll need the documents listed below. Review the FAFSA checklist in your CAM Workbook, and in the “Notes” section of the chart, write down any concerns or questions you have about each step. Here’s an example.
|Document||Do I have it available?||Questions or concerns?|
|Social Security Number||Yes|
|Parents' Social Security Number||Yes|
|Your driver's license||Yes|
| Federal Tax Information
||Yes||I need to find my W-2 from my summer job last year.|
|Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents||?||This is confusing to me. I will have to ask my parents if any of these situations apply to me.|
|Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student||?||Will have to ask my parents for help.|
Once you fill out this checklist, make sure to print out and download this practice worksheet from the U.S. Department of Education. This will help you and your family get ready to file your FAFSA.
Ready to file your FAFSA? Jump ahead to Submitting Your Financial Aid Applications.
Mission Accomplished: Show your CAM Ambassador your completed checklist to earn your stamp.
Prepare Your Applications
You’ve explored, researched and analyzed. Now you have to decide which schools you want to apply to or whether you also want to complete a military or apprenticeship application. To do that, take a look at your Career to Program to School worksheet from Week 3 or reenter the information below for your top career choice:
Copy the information from your Matching Schools table from Week 3.
|Career||Program/Major||Level of Education*||College/School(s) or Military|
*Certificate, associate degree, bachelor’s degree
If you are not going to continue your education right now and have decided to “stop out” for a bit, that’s OK!
If you are headed into the workforce, record your work plans in the box in your CAM Workbook.
For your next steps, choose from these credential options:
Select Higher Education Programs
Now that you’ve identified a possible career path, it’s time to figure out what kind of education you’ll need.
Your Task: Use College In Colorado tools to identify three career possibilities and matching education and training pathways.
Step 1: Click Your Portfolio > Career Planning Portfolio > Career Plans
Step 2: Scroll down to Career Cluster Survey. Under your Career Clusters, click View careers in this cluster.
Step 3: Review the careers you identified last week, or choose a new one using the Explore Careers links. You should have a list of at least three careers. Once you’ve navigated to a career, click What to Learn on the left navigation panel. Look at the Education Level and Extra Requirements sections.
In your CAM Workbook, record your top three careers and level of education required for each.
|Careers of Interest||Education Required|
Step 4: Now look at the Beyond High School box. These are programs (sometimes called majors) that you can pursue to help you reach your career choice.
In the Matching Schools table in your CAM Workbook, write your top two careers in the first column and then list two programs for each career that sounds interesting.
|Career||Program/Major||Level of Education||College/School(s)|
Step 5: Now, click on the name of each program/major in the Beyond High School box. Read Just the Facts. In the table above, record the different level of education options (certificate, associate, etc.) that are available.
Step 6: For each program, click Schools Offering This Program in the left navigation panel
You will see the following screen.
Step 7: Look back to your favorite career list in your CAM Workbook. What level of education did it require? Click that level of education in the Find a School Offering this Program box. Then, pick Colorado from the dropdown list. Click GO.
- Not every school offers every program – or that exact title of program. If you don’t see college matches that you expect, go back to the “What to Learn” page of your career choice and select a related or more general program name from the Beyond High School box.
- Programs are offered at different levels of education. Sometimes you can get a certificate (one-year) or associates (two-year) program option at your local community college; some programs may only be offered as a four-year or even advanced degree.
- If you have your heart set on a particular program but don’t see a Colorado college listed, broaden your state selection to our region or the nation.
Step 8: As you find schools, click on their name to review information about them. Notice all the different tabs on the left that you can explore.
In the Matching Schools table in your CAM Workbook, write down the colleges that sound most interesting to you.
Mission Accomplished: Show your CAM Ambassador your completed checklists to earn your stamp.
Explore Higher Education Pathways
Many people think “higher education” means just four-year degrees, but there are multiple pathways available to you. For many good-paying jobs, a two-year degree or three-month certificate can set you up on a path to success.
Your Task: Use the College Application Tool to explore higher education pathways.
Step 1: Open the College Admissions Tool. Sign in using your CollegeInColorado account and click Option 1: Build Options
Step 2: Click Four-Year Colleges. Select the Benefits and Trade-Offs dropdown categories and readthrough the items for each category. Repeat for Two Year & Technical Colleges.
Step 3: Now explore additional options by clicking the pathway options on the left side of your window: Apprenticeships, Private and Occupational & Technical Schools, U.S. Military and Direct to Work.
Step 4: Complete the chart in your CAM Workbook as you explore.
|Option||Summarize Benefits||Summarize Trade-Offs|
|Two-Year & Technical Colleges|
|Private & Occupational Schools|
Mission Accomplished: Circle your favorite option in your CAM Workbook and have your CAM Ambassador stamp it.