A drawing of a person tries to drag a huge bag with a dollar sign on it. Above the image is the title FAFSA and Scholarship Applicaiton Help!

Helping students with FAFSA and scholarship applications

It’s that time of year again, Superheroes! College Application Season, I mean. A time filled with FAFSA workshops, endless requests for letters of recommendation, and Seniors working tirelessly to finish personal statements.

With that in mind, this is part one in a three-part series on how you can help your students be college- and career-ready. Today’s post focuses on college applications and scholarships, and over the next two posts, we’ll look at specific programs and resources at Arizona colleges and universities and how you can help your students with the dreaded personal statement. Read on!

As a first generation college student, I did not know the importance of completing the FAFSA application until it was too late, and so I make it a priority to remind my Seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form as early as possible. The FAFSA application process can be intimidating, especially for new applicants. Fortunately, organizations like College Depot offer free resources to assist students with applying for aid. College Depot has a collection of financial aid resources here

College Board’s BigFuture is a free and comprehensive college and career planning website that students and educators can use to plan for life after high school. Students can practice for the SAT, search and apply for scholarships, and explore careers based on their interests and passions. College Board’s BigFuture supports parents, too! Parents can access a multitude of free resources including parent action plans (middle school through 12th grade).

Real Talk, a BigFuture initiative, is a virtual college exploration program that connects Black students and families with Black representatives from colleges and organizations across the country. Real Talk offers opportunities for students to connect with Black HBCU representatives, Black professionals to learn about their success stories, and Black financial aid experts to assist with the FAFSA application process. 

Missed a Real Talk event? No problem! You can catch up on previous Real Talk events here.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is another great organization that focuses on empowering students and parents with knowledge and resources to successfully earn a higher education. HSF provides Hispanic students with various resources to help with the transition from high school, the college and FAFSA application process, and scholarship opportunities. HSF also assists students with securing careers through the Hispanic Careers Pathway Initiative. Find out more about upcoming HSF events here

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and so thank you for your continued commitment to our students’ success. You truly are a superhero. 

Be sure to check out next week’s post, which will focus on specialty programs specific to Arizona colleges and universities!

About the author

Ashley Burkart is a Senior STEM Teacher at Bioscience High School in Phoenix. STEM research was her first passion as she holds a Masters in Biomedical Science from Midwestern University. When she isn’t teaching tomorrow’s leaders, she is either hanging out with her dogs, Raven and Bailey, or hiking the beautiful mountains of Arizona. 

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