How do I pay for College & What is a FAFSA?
Are you asking yourself these questions? We have all asked ourselves them at one point in our lives, so we would like to help.
October has become the new month for prospective college students and parents to start filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators website, www.nasfaa.org, “President Barack Obama took executive action in 2015 to allow the use of prior-prior year (PPY) tax information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).” The change has been positive because it allows students and parents to see what kind of federal student aid they will qualify for much earlier in the college enrollment process than the original spring timeframe. The fall timeframe now usually lines up with most college or university’s institutional scholarship offer timeline. Central Baptist College offers very competitive scholarships and awards. In fact, 99% of CBC Freshmen qualify for some combination of federal, state, and institutional grants and/or scholarships. Also, an average amount of grants and scholarships per CBC Freshman is $7,631. Visit www.cbc.edu/investment for more details.
The FAFSA is required if you are thinking about using federal aid such as the Pell Grant, Subsidized or Unsubsidized loans, and state aid (The Arkansas Academic Challenge). If you don’t know if you want to use these aid types don’t worry. Completing the FAFSA does not obligate you any funds. This is simply to see what aid and how much aid you qualify for. Also, most colleges require you to complete a FAFSA and enter their school code. Then they can include all aid that you qualify for on your award letter. This way you can see everything that you qualify for in one place which will aid you in making your college decision. We counsel our students to only borrow what is necessary to cover college expenses. We also work on behalf of our students to try and combine as much CBC and outside scholarships to make this happen.
We know that all of this can be very intimidating to students and parents, especially if you are the first person in your family to attend college. It can very easily come across as a foreign language and we understand that concern. Like I said at the beginning, we are here to help. Here are the basic steps you need to know when starting the college funding process.
1. Students & parents should both create their FSA ID. This link will get you to the right place. www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid
2. Students should apply for federal student aid by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), www.fafsa.ed.gov. When completing the FAFSA, you can add the school codes for each college you are considering. Central Baptist College’s school code is: 001093.
3. If you are an Arkansas resident complete the YOUniversal Application online at www.scholarships.adhe.edu/ by July 1st, or by February 1st if applying for Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship.
4. Ask your specific school’s Admissions Counselor how they issue Federal Work Study positions (If you qualify), as well as Endowed Scholarships. For a list of Central Baptist College’s endowed scholarships and how to apply visit www.cbc.edu/financialaid and click on scholarships, then click endowed scholarships. Deadline to apply is March 15th.
Please do not pay for a service to help you fill out your FAFSA. There is a reason the word “free” is in the name. There are plenty of free resources at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you need more help please don’t hesitate to contact our staff, www.cbc.edu/financialaid, they would love to help you.
There are so many great outside scholarship options available for students. We have gathered our favorite ones on our website for your convenience. Visit www.cbc.edu/financialaid then click scholarships. The scholarship generator websites are very convenient, and we highly recommend www.fastweb.com.
Once you follow these simple steps then you will be well ready to start receiving college offers from your top choice colleges. Also, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov for detailed information about how federal aid can work for you. Or for great videos of everything that is involved with the FAFSA visit the Federal Student Aid YouTube Channel.
If you would like to visit our campus to find why students are choosing Central Baptist College contact us to schedule a visit at www.cbc.edu/visit. You can schedule a Personal Campus Visit Experience or learn about our Spring Stampede Preview Day. If you would like to more about CBC or apply, visit www.cbc.edu/WhyCBC.
Ryan Johnson, Vice President for Enrollment Management