Financial Aid Planning
Scholarship lists are below! Keep scrolling down!
The financial aid process can be a confusing and cumbersome process for many. It can be a very different process for each student depending on family structure, family financial situations, colleges of interest, and other variables. As you navigate the potentially unfamiliar waters of financial aid, here are some key steps to consider that you may find helpful.
1. Apply To College
In order to be considered for any type of financial aid, a student must be accepted to a post-secondary institution. Whether a student is planning to attend KCC on the Legacy Scholarship, a technical school, a vocational program, or a 4- year university, they must apply and be accepted in order to receive financial aid. This mights seem like a no-brainer, but it is a very important step.
2. Research scholarships available from your colleges you are applying to
You should definitely visit the financial aid and scholarships page of any college you are interested in attending. Many colleges offer merit based scholarships based on GPA and ACT scores, but you must apply for admission by the scholarship deadline to be eligible. This deadline is usually earlier than the general application deadline. Most schools also offer several merit- based or need-based scholarships that might require additional applications. This is research that should be done early in the fall in order to meet necessary deadlines. Most schools also have a cost calculator that allows students to enter basic family demographics and financial information in order to get a preliminary estimate of their eligibility for aid. This can be helpful for determining how much a specific college might actually cost you, which is based on several variables and is different for each student.
3. Complete a FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial step for any student planning to attend any post-secondary institution. The FAFSA, very basically, provides information to the federal government, the state government, and any colleges of interest. This potentially qualifies students for need-based financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, or work study. Many families feel like this is unnecessary because they believe they make too much money to qualify. However, there are many variables other than income that contribute to determining financial need (ie. household size, other dependents in college, state of residence, etc.). Additionally, the FAFSA is required for consideration for many merit-based scholarships and for the Legacy Scholarship to KCC. The FAFSA is based partially on tax information and can be submitted any time after October 1 for the following academic year. Students should submit prior to March 1.
4. Apply for other local, state, and/or national scholarships
The FAFSA may make many students eligible for some aid, but in most cases, there will still be cost remaining. One way to cover this cost may be through applying for private-donor scholarships. We are fortunate to have many scholarships available for Battle Creek area students through local organizations. A comprehensive list of local scholarships is available on this site linked below. We also have state and national scholarships listed here, however the list is by no means comprehensive. Deadlines listed on our site are based on previous year deadlines and are subject to change each year. Applications are available online or in the counseling office, in most cases. Students may also use one of many national scholarship searches available online and listed below under web resource links. Finally, students who are planning to use the Legacy Scholarship to attend KCC should visit that page listed below.
Help is available at LHS
Each year, counselors meet with students in classrooms for a 2-part financial aid lesson druing October and January. A corresponding parent meeting happens with each of those lessons in the evening. FAFSA completion workshops are held throughout the community during October and November. Specific dates will be available each year and will be shared with students via e-mail, newsletter, and phone calls.
Web Resource Links
The Federal Student Aid Youtube Channel has countless short videos addressing common financial aid questions pertaining to the FAFSA.
College Green Light is a national scholarship search database
Fastweb is a national scholarship search database