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College Information For Seniors

SENIORS: REMINDER!

Our Lady of Mercy Academy is responsible for submitting 1st quarter grades to colleges only if the college is requesting grades to be submitted. If your first quarter grades need to be submitted, please fill out the request form located in the Counseling Office, and submit to Mrs. Piasio

Mid-year grades are automatically submitted to ALL colleges. You do not need to request that the Mid-year grades be sent.


College Application Guidelines
Please familiarize yourself with OLMA's College Application deadline dates and application details!


College Financial Aid
Higher Education financial aid programs are designed to assist those who, without such assistance, would be unable to meet the costs of a post secondary education. Financial aid comes from several different sources: The federal and state government, colleges and universities, local private organizations and scholarship programs, and banks.

In general, eligibility for financial aid is based on need. Some financial assistance is awarded not on the basis of need, but for scholastic excellence, athletics, or other specialized talents. Much of the financial aid awarded, however, is need-based. Need will vary from college to college according to the cost of attending the school and how much the student/family is expected to contribute to the student’s education. Need is not one set dollar amount.

The student/family’s expected contribution (EFC) is an amount determined by a formula established by Congress that indicates how much of a student’s family’s financial resources should be available to pay for school. Student/family financial information is collected in two ways:
  1. The CSS (College Scholarship Service) Financial Aid PROFILE form (Available October 1st)
  2. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (Available October 1st)

While the FAFSA is used to apply for most federal and state aid, the PROFILE is the form used by most institutions (private) to dispense their own funds. Colleges may also require students/families to fill out financial aid forms specific to their given institution. In determining the financial aid package, private colleges are not bound by the analysis of need presented in the FAFSA

The FAFSA should completed as soon as October 1st as possible (but not before). One may register for the PROFILE service earlierl. This is especially important for students applying early decision or early admission. The organizations and colleges that are to receive the results must be identified on the form or through a written request at a later date. The codes are also available on the website for each of these tools, and in the college bulletins. One may apply on-line for both the FAFSA and PROFILE. (Personal Identification Numbers) PIN’s are required for on-line filing. The FAFSA form requires that BOTH parent and student have their own individual PIN.
A student eligible for aid will likely be offered a financial aid package composed of the following components: self aid (loans and work study), and gift aid (grants and scholarships which do not have to be repaid). Some schools vary the proportion of each kind of aid based on the student’s academic performance or other factors. The amounts of each program may vary from year to year depending on federal funding for financial aid.

Financial Aid Resources For Students and Families

Websites:
AmeriCorps - AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage volunteers to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. AmeriCorps members are eligible to receive an education award after successfully completing a term of service. www.americorps.org

Collegeboard - Here you’ll find a scholarship search and a loan calculator, and be able to apply online for CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, which is required by some colleges.www.collegeboard.com

FAFSA on the Web - The Web site for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form must be submitted in the senior year (after January 1) for families applying for need-based aid. Students may complete it electronically. www.fafsa.ed.gov

Fast Web - This site provides extensive information on merit – and need – based scholarships and aid. www.fastweb.com

FinAid - This is a good site for information about types of financial aid and about applying for financial aid. www.finaid.org

Funding Your Education - This site provides general information about the Department of Education’s financial aid programs and how to apply for them. You can download this publication for free: Click on “Find & Pay for College” in the Student section of www.ed.gov.

Internal Revenue Service - Get information on Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits. www.irs.gov

Mapping Your Future - Here you’ll find general information about scholarships, financial aid, planning a career, selecting a college, and paying for it. www.mapping-your-future.org

Sallie Mae - This site provides information about planning for college, applying for loans, managing your loans, finding a job, and using financial aid services. www.salliemae.com

Student Aid on the Web - Get general information from the Department of Education. www.studentaid.ed.gov

The Student Guide - The Student Guide is a comprehensive resource on financial aid from the Department of Education. Grants, loans, and work-study are the three major forms of aid available through the department’s Federal Student Aid office. Updated annually. Go to www.studentaid.ed.gov and type “Student Guide” into the search engine.

Wired Scholar - Get pointers on the college search and application process from preparation to getting loans; this site also has interactive tools that enable you to analyze the affordability of schools and compare financial aid award letters. www.wiredscholar.com