How do I get Financial Aid?
- Beginning October 1st, you can file the FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid) for the school year in which you will first be attending college. Create an FSA ID for both the student and parent. Then complete the application. Please be mindful of errors on the application as those are not complete and colleges cannot see your information for scholarship opportunities.
- Search for scholarships here: https://www.swflscholarships.org/. This allows you the opportunity to receive the Bright Futures Scholarship as well as several other state funded scholarships.
- Check this site on a weekly basis as new scholarships open your senior year. Join the school REMIND group for updates on scholarship opportunities. Please contact your school counselor for the code to join.
- School Based Financial Aid. Check with your University to see if you need to file a separate application to be reviewed for financial aid from the University. Many do not require a separate application, but you need to check!
Scholarships, What will I need?
Scholarships will require the same basic items. Prepare these early to ease the scholarship application process.
- Resume. As a Freshman, you should begin logging all of your activities both inside and outside of school, on to a running resume. Any activities you participate in with the school and/or any opportunities you are part of outside of school should be well documented and listed on your resume. Have a resume prepared by senior year.
- Personal Statement. You will need a basic personal statement prepared discussing what field you want to study, what makes you stand out as a student, positive qualities about yourself, anything unique to you or your family, and why you deserve a scholarship. This statement will be altered as needed for each scholarship, but if you have the basics written down then you can easily tweak as needed.
- While many colleges no longer request references, scholarships always ask. You will want to choose 2-3 people whom you have a great relationship with to write a letter of recommendation. Please ask early to give them time to prepare. Give them your resume and personal statement to assist in writing the most outstanding letter.