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Preparing For College

Preparing for college can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. Below are some steps and helpful information to make preparing, applying, and paying for college easier.
Junior's and Senior's: Download your Checklist for College Planning here and your College Planning Guide here.

HELPFUL LINKS:

www.LaNext.com - Congratulations!  The finish line for high school is in sight. Now it's time to ask yourself, "What NEXT?
www.careercompassla.org- You can be what ever you want to be! Maybe college is not for you and that's OK.
www.journeytocollege.org- Find valuable information on the college process, Louisiana requirements, and resources you can use to find the right university.
www.KnowHow2Go.org - Plan for college in just 4 simple steps!
www.NextStepU.com - NextStepU.com helps students plan for college, careers and life.
Fall of your Senior Year in High School
  • October is College Application Month.  Select three or four schools that interest you.  Make the time to apply online for admission to each school.  
  • Make a note of important deadlines and meet them.
  • Make an appointment with your high school counselor early in the school year to discuss your top school choices and your career path.
  • Schedule a visit to each college/university through the Admissions/Recruiting Office.
  • Schedule admission and placement examinations, including:
  • Schedule follow-up visits with your High School Counselor throughout the year to verify that all of the necessary information has been forwarded to your school choices:
    • Test scores
    • Transcripts
    • Letters of reference
    • Essays, if necessary
  • Keep your counselor informed of any offers or acceptance letters that you may receive.
  • Create your Federal Student Aid ID "FSA ID" HERE. Your FSA ID serves as your e-signature for the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are a dependent student, a parent should also register for an FSA ID at this time. The FSA ID replaced the Federal PIN in June 2015.  
  • Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on or after October 1 and typically prior to May 1 of your senior year to be included for all types of Federal financial aid.  Check with your school for specific dates unique to their campus. 
  • Receive, review, and revise your Student Aid Report (SAR) from each of your college choices. Make certain all the information on your SAR is correct.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

  • Apply online at www.FAFSA.gov. *Note: If you are asked to "pay" for this application, you are at the wrong website.
  • Click HERE for information on applying for the Federal Direct Loan.
  • Any questions? Feel free to contact Lela’s Customer Service Department toll-free at (844) Go FAFSA or email us at info@lela.org.

College Goal Sunday

Attend a College Goal Sunday event in February or March at a location closest to you to get help completing your FASFA. For more information about College Goal Sunday and to find a location near you, click HERE.

Spring of your Senior Year

  • Compare acceptance and financial aid packages from each of your college choices.
  • Accept all financial aid packages now. You can decline them later, once you make your final decision.
  • Select a college, and notify the others that you are declining their offers.
  • Look for summer jobs to help with college costs.

Consider All Types of Financial Aid

Scholarship Opportunities

  • Register for Lela's Quarterly $1,000 Scholarship Drawing. Click here to register.
  • Visit http://www.lela.org/financialliteracy to test your financial literacy and become eligible for a random $500 scholarship drawing.
  • Search online HERE and HERE. Visit bookstores or libraries to review directories of scholarship opportunities.
  • Check with your School Counselor for scholarship opportunities they receive throughout your senior year.
  • Search the Internet, using your personal interests or strengths as keywords.
  • Create a list of all potential scholarships. Include information such as requirements, deadlines, award amounts, and submit the information on a timely basis.
  • Check with the college of your discipline (i.e.College of Nursing) at your campus for additional scholarship opportunities.

Compare College Costs

  • Click HERE for a Louisiana Guide to College Cost
  • Click HERE for a Student Cost of Attendance Budget for all Title IV Assistance Programs