2. Black Bar at the top Click: STUDENTS
4. Enter User Name & Password
Your username is your 6 digit student number (lunch code).
Your password is your 8 digit birthday (e.g. August 26, 1998 will be 08261998)
EducationQuest is an organization dedicated to helping students with scholarships and financial aid. This nonprofit organization is a very helpful, free resources. In Omaha, its location is 11031 Elm Street (in Rockbrook Village at 108th & West Center Road). To set up an appointment, call 402-391-4033.
There are two very beneficial tools on EducationQuest's website that help make preparing for the FAFSA easier: the College Funding Estimator and the FAFSA tutorial. The College Funding Estimator calculates a family's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and also provides an estimate of possible Pell Grant awards if a family qualifies. The FAFSA tutorial is another helpful resource that will help walk you through each question on the form. The FAFSA contains several pages of questions - some of which can be complicated. The FAFSA tutorials and handouts found at www.educationquest.org are certainly helpful!
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that students/parents complete annually to determine eligibility for federal student aid; this includes Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, PLUS loans, and Work Study programs. Available after January 1 each year, FAFSA processes several million financial aid applications and distributes billions of dollars each year. In addition to financial assistance on a federal level, most states and colleges also use information from the FAFSA to award student aid. It is recommended that students and families review financial aid deadlines for the prospective schools in their list; March 1, March 15, and April 1 are common deadlines for federal financial aid. Applications submitted after stated deadlines are not guaranteed financial aid. FAFSA deadlines vary from college to college; it is in your best interest to contact prospective colleges for more details.
Students and parents filling out the FAFSA are required to sign up for a FAFSA PIN. The PIN acts as an electronic signature and allows both students and parents to legally sign the forms over the computer. The student and parent have to have their own unique FAFSA PIN and you can apply for one before you apply for the FAFSA.
FAFSA Instructions - Watch the video below for information on filing out your FAFSA.
Students who are Pell eligible can receive the remainder of tuition cost for UNK, UNL or UNO through Collegebound Nebraska. Students must be admitted and submit FAFSA by April 1st.
First-time freshmen students who receive a federal Pell Grant pay No Tuition at Wayne State, Peru State. or Chadron State College through the NSCS Advantage program. Students must be admitted and submit FAFSA by June 1st.
PROCEDURES FOR APPLYING TO A COLLEGE/SCHOLARSHIP
IF MATERIALS NEED TO BE MAILED, STUDENTS MUST PROVIDE AN ENVELOPE, CORRECT MAILING ADDRESS, AND ENOUGH POSTAGE FOR ALL MATERIALS THAT WILL BE SENT TO THE SCHOOL OR SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE. IF THE COLLEGE OR SCHOLARSHIP REQUIRES AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT, THERE IS A $2 PROCESSING FEE. THE STUDENT MUST FILL OUT THIS INFORMATION AND PERSONALLY BRING THIS SHEET INTO GUIDANCE AND HAND IT TO THE GUIDANCE SECRETARY. BECAUSE WE MAY NEED TO FOLLOW UP WITH ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AND INFORMATION, WE WILL NOT ACCEPT THESE SHEETS SENT THROUGH THE MAIL.
College Comparison Worksheets give students an opportunity to research specific categories of different schools and compare them next to each other to see which one is the best fit for them. TheMinnesota Office of Higher Education has developed an excellent resource to be able to compare several categories among three different schools.
THE COMMON APPLICATION
THE COMMON BLACK APPLICATION
NAVIANCE FAMILY CONNECTION
Naviance Family Connectionis a computer program for all students and families that assists in students' course planning, career goals, and college research. Students and families have access to their Family Connection account wherever they have an internet connection. Students will also collaborate with counselors and teachers in developing an individualized plan for future coursework, education after high school, and career options.
COLLEGE SEARCH ENGINES
Collegeboard, the company that designs the SAT, has a widely used search engine that can prove to be very beneficial. The database starts with almost 4000 colleges and eliminates schools based on a student’s choices of what they want in a college (size, major, clubs, etc.).
College Navigator is a government website that was created by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.
YOUniversity is a website that has 4-7 minute videos of college campuses around the country. For those students interested in a college that is too far away to visit on the weekends, this is a great website to get more information and see what the college looks like.
EducationQuest has an Index of Majors that will show what majors are offered at each college or university in the state of Nebraska. Use this beneficial website to find out if the school you are researching carries your program of interest.
MIDWEST STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM
The Midwest Student Exchange Program is a helpful way to students to attend other schools outside Nebraska and make them more affordable. The states that participate in the MSEP are Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. This is a wonderful program and is worth researching! Keep in mind as well that although some schools may participate in the MSEP, it also varies depending on the program of study. For more information, visit https://msep.mhec.org/or contact the participating school.
HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES
Historically Black Colleges are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established prior to 1964 with the intention of serving the African American community. HBCUs offer all students, regardless of race, an opportunity to develop their skills and talents. HBCUs enroll 14 percent of all African American students in higher education, however, they only make up 3 percent of America’s 4,084 institutions of higher education. There are 110 historically black colleges in the United States, which includes both two-year and four-year institutions.
Women's Colleges are institutions of higher education that can offer a conducive environment for women.
Essay Writing is required for some colleges and scholarship committees. CollegeAdmissionsEssays.com offers some great tips in regards to strategies, topics, and helpful tips to make sure you are writing an essay to the best of your abilities.
PROCEDURES FOR LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Students are requested to complete a Teacher Recommendation Request Form to assist teachers in writing effective letters of recommendation. This form (found in the Counseling Center, the above Post-secondary Planning Guide, and on Naviance Family Connection) serves to assist teachers in writing a letter on a student's behalf. Seniors are encouraged to ask a staff member for a positive letter of recommendation if such a document is needed for college admission or a scholarship application. Students should give 3 or 4 weeks (minimum) of advance notice to ensure that their teacher has enough time to write a quality letter. Once the teacher completes the letter of recommendation, he or she will upload the document to Naviance Succeed where it is stored and made accessible to a school counselor. Students request this task through Naviance Family Connection under “Colleges I’m Applying To” -- this action gives a teacher the ability to upload the letter. Depending on the college or scholarship application, it may be necessary provide a copy of a letter of recommendation to the Counseling Department. A letter will be placed in a student's Senior Application File and will be available for later use. If a student needs a copy sent directly to a college or scholarship committee from a teacher recommended, please provide the teacher with a stamped, addressed envelope and alert the assigned counselor that the teacher will be mailing the letter of recommendation instead.
SENIOR COLLEGE PLANNING GUIDE
Senior College Planning Guide is a resource that students receive each fall in their senior English class. This is a comprehensive handbook that serves to explain the different steps and procedures in the college and scholarship application process. Seniors and families are encouraged to consult this planning guide frequently this year as they seek information on college admissions, financial aid, college resources, and NCAA and/or NAIA eligibility. This document is also located in the 'document library' on Family Connection.
CONSENT TO SEND DOCUMENTS
All seniors receive a transcript/recommendation waiver/consent form when counselors visit their senior English class during first semester. Additional forms are available in the Counseling Center or on Naviance Family Connection. This transcript waiver/consent form needs to be completed in compliance with federal FERPA law, and kept on file in the Counseling Center. The transcript release form must be signed by students and parents giving South High School permission to release transcripts and letters of recommendation to colleges, universities, or scholarship committees. The aforementioned waiver/consent form must be on file in the Counseling Center before student documents may be sent to outside institutions or organizations.
COLLEGE FUNDING ESTIMATOR
The College Funding Estimator is a helpful resource fromEducationQuest's website that can help families predict whether a student qualifies for a federal Pell Grant through the U.S. Department of Education. The funding estimator serves to estimate one's expected family contribution (EFC), a statistic that colleges and universities look at when establishing a financial aid package. In addition, there are some need-based scholarships distributed by the Burke Scholarship Committee that require a documented EFC. The South High Scholarship Application (made available in December) requires a completed College Funding Estimator as part of the application process.
SCHOLARSHIP List can be found on NAVIANCE
Counselor's are available to help with FAFSA, Scholarships, Applying to College 9:00- 12:00 Every Saturday in the Library
FINANCIAL AID TOOLS AND THE NEBRASKA OPPORTUNITY GRANT
The Financial Aid Calculator gives students an opportunity to see how much money they might have to save up for loans and to be able to calculate college costs based on inflation.
The Financial Aid Estimator is a helpful way to get a quick estimate of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). It is not as accurate as the College Funding Estimator from EducationQuest but it is a lot easier to use. Keep in mind that the FAFSA is the final resource that determines what the official EFC is and whether you are Pell Grant eligible.
The State of Nebraska offers a grant opportunity for some students who apply to a Nebraska college or university. The Nebraska Opportunity Grant (NOG) is awarded though post-secondary institutions within the state. Students are encouraged to apply early and complete their FAFSA before the deadlines established by each institution in order to give themselves the best chance to receive a Nebraska Opportunity Grant.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FINANCIAL AID
The Guide to Federal Student Aid is a document put out by the U.S. Department of Education. This manual will give all the information on grants, work study, loans and other topics with regard to federal financial aid.
First Generation and Underserved College Bound Students
OPPORTUNITIES AT SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL
Students that participate in the federal free/reduced lunch program can receive up to two fee waivers to take the ACT or SAT free of charge. Come down to the Counseling Center and ask your counselor to fill out an ACT or SAT fee waiver form for you. The form is good for either the regular ACT, the ACT writing plus, or the SAT.
Additionally, most colleges understand that high school seniors who meet the financial eligibility guidelines (such as participating in the federal free/reduced school lunch program) should be able to apply to colleges free of charge. Eligible seniors can request their counselor to send a application fee waiver letter to most all colleges who charge an application fee - be sure to note this request on the blue College/Scholarship Processing Form.
IMPORTANCE OF ACADEMICS
Many athletes falsely believe they can make it to college based on their athletic ability alone. Although an athlete may be talented, he or she will have a very difficult time advancing to the next level without passing the required high school classes, maintaining a minimum core grade point average and achieving sufficient standardized test scores.
Academics are important in regard to recruiting and scholarships. Strong academics are impressive to college coaches. Coaches only recruit a limited number of high school athletes and good grades can help an athlete standout just as much as athletic ability. Furthermore, grades are often a major factor in awarding scholarships between two athletes with equal talent. Athletes are an investment to coaches and universities. Grades are a vital factor in staying academically eligible in college and ultimately graduating from the university.
TYPES OF COLLEGE SPORTS
Cross Country (M & W)
Field Hockey (W)
Soccer (M & W)
Volleyball (M & W)
Water Polo (M)
Basketball (M & W)
Fencing (M & W)
Gymnastics (M & W)
Ice Hockey (M & W)
Rifle (M & W)
Skiing (M & W)
Swimming and Diving (M & W)
Track, Indoor (M & W)
Golf (M & W)
Lacrosse (M & W)
Tennis (M & W)
Track (M & W)
Water Polo (W)
RESEARCHING COLLEGE TEAMS BY SPORT
Link Athletics is a great website to learn about college sports by researching specific sports by state and by school.
COLLEGE ATHLETIC ORGANIZATIONS
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is an association for college sports that has been around since 1906. There are over 1,000 four-year member colleges in the United States that compete at the Division (I), Division (II), and Division (II) level.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is an association for college sports that has been around since 1940. There are nearly 300 four-year member colleges in the United States and Canada.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) is an association for college sports that has been around since 1938. There are about 500 two-year colleges in the United States
The National Christian College Athletic Association(NCCAA) is an association for college sports that has been around since 1966. There are about 102 four-year colleges in the United States.
NCAA & NAIA ELIGIBILITY CENTERS
The NCAA Eligibility Center is the governing body that determines whether a student will be allowed to compete in NCAA Division (I) or Division (II) athletics.
The NCAA Freshman-Eligibility Quick Referencegives information on the general core courses it takes to qualify for Division (I) and Division (II) athletics. This website outlines eligibility guidelines for prospective student-athletes of NCAA institutions.
The NAIA Eligibility Center is the governing body that determines eligibility for prospective student-athletes who hope to participate at a member institution.
Prospective student-athletes who plan on participating at either an NCAA (DI or DII) or NAIA member institution must register with the respective organization in order to be eligible to participate in an intercollegiate sport once on campus.
An award letter is the statement from either a college or scholarship committee that gives information about scholarship(s) that have been offered to a student.
How To Prepare for your ACT:
Take advantage of this great FREE resource https://onlineprep.act.org/
Why prepare for the ACT?
ACT Online Prep
· Go to onlineprep.act.org OR download the app (see icon)
· Sign In
o Username is your school e-mail address (i.e. email@example.com).
o Password is your student ID.
· The first time you sign in, you’ll see a screen with an option to “Choose my timeframe.”
o Click the blue link.
o You will then see a box with a number inside and the bottom of the box will read “Days until XX/XX/XXXX. Click on the blue date and change the date to 04/03/2018.
· Next to the box you’ll see a blue bar with How to Use This Course. Click “Get Started” for a tutorial.
· On the left side of the screen you’ll see a list of things to choose from as you prepare for the ACT such as games, lessons, flashcards, etc. The last thing on the list is Essays.