Preparing for Success “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln.
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Preparing for Success “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln
Summer Programs Make the most of your summer ! What you do with your spare time now could have a big impact on the opportunities you receive in the future. Getting involved with your community and staying active looks great on college and scholarship applications.
Summer Programs The Boys and Girls Club and your local YMCA are good places to start when you are looking for summer programs. Both offer a wide variety of activities and community service projects and membership fees and dues are minimal. Volunteering is another great way to spend your time. It is a rewarding experience that builds character. All your college applications are going to ask about community service you have done!
Summer Programs The Boys and Girls club offer summer programs in character & leadership, education & career, health & life skills, the arts, sports, fitness, and recreation. The YMCA offers summer programs like aquatics, arts and humanities, camping, community development, and health and fitness among many others.
Why go to College? Average annual income for people with less than a high school diploma or GED: $21,539 Average annual income for people with a high school diploma: $29,617 Average annual income for people with a degree from a 4 year university: $53,000 Average annual income for people with a professional degree: $116,000 Over the course of their careers people with a college degree earn about $1,000,000 more than those with just a high school diploma! *These numbers are from a 2002 survey conducted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Think College Is Too Expensive? In Texas the average cost of attending Community College is only $58 a semester hour. The average cost of attending a 4 year school in Texas is $400 a semester hour. Community College can be a great place to start!
Other advantages of Community Colleges Open door policy - most community colleges will admit you if you have a high school diploma or GED Convenience - most offer classes at a wide range of times because many of their students must work Class Size - smaller classes mean more personal attention from your teacher, and an easier setting to meet your classmates Success - most state universities will accept all graduates from community colleges. Famous Alumni - Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, and Ross Perot all got their start in community colleges
Financial Aid Once you have applied to a school you should contact the Financial Aid Officer of your chosen institution. They can tell you what you are eligible to apply for and receive. You could receive scholarships, grants, loans, and part-time work. Some schools have scholarships or grants specifically for students who are minorities, or students who are classified as coming from a disadvantaged background. You should also check with the department of your major (i.e. math, biology, chemistry). Many schools offer departmental scholarships.
Outside Financial Aid When applying for scholarships don’t forget to check local community organizations, businesses, and foundations. Your counselor may be able to help you with this. You can sign up for free online scholarship search sites like FastWeb that alert you of scholarships you are eligible to apply for. These sites can be useful tools, because as you will see when you start looking online for scholarships there are thousands! Sites like FastWeb can help sort through the masses and show you only the things you are most compatible with.
Outside Financial Aid There are scholarships and loans specifically for disadvantaged students. Many schools offer these types of scholarships, especially for students looking to go into medical or allied health related fields. You can ask your Financial Aid Counselor if your school offers these scholarships. Links that can provide more information on these types of scholarships: http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/DSA/sds.htm http://www.explorehealthcareers.org/en/Funding.308.aspx http://www.archfoundation.org/aaf/aaf/Programs.Fellowships.htm
Financial Aid Resources The link provided here can be a great tool for anyone thinking about secondary education: http://www.nasfaa.org/Redesign/ParentsStudents.html You can find answers to all your financial aid and application questions. You can also find useful tools like help filling out the FASFA, school cost comparison worksheets, financial aid comparison worksheets, sample inquiry letters to private organizations about scholarships, and a calendar checklist with suggestions on things you should start doing in the 8 th through 12 th grades to get ready for college.
Financial Aid One last word about financial aid… College really is manageable for everyone! It just takes some planning. If you receive your financial awards letter and it is still not enough to cover your expenses you should write a letter to the registrars office of your chosen institution explaining your situation. They may give you more funds!
Start Now! It is never too early to start getting ready for college, technical school, or whatever it is you want to do after high school. It is okay to not know what you want do for a career, but you should start looking into things that interest you and talking to people who work in fields you find interesting. It will help you in the future when your trying to decide what to major in or what kind of job you would like to have.