Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Guidance Lesson: Financial Aid (12th grade)

Audience: 12th graders. Usually present in December or January

Rationale: The purpose of this presentation is to inform seniors on how to understand financial aid. The process can be intimidating to many and the hope is that this will give them a better understanding on how to receive financial aid for postsecondary education. While I we would love to have every individual fill out a FAFSA at school, it can be extremely difficult with the amount of information they need on hand (social security number, tax information, etc). The presentation will walk them through what they need for to fill out their FAFSA, how to find scholarships, and teach them the difference between types of financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study).

Materials Needed:
- Projector
- PowerPoint

Time Required: Roughly 30 minutes
Applicable Standards:
This activity satisfies many ASCA standards, key among them are:

A:B2.7 Identify post-secondary options consistent with interests, achievement, aptitude and abilities.

C:A1.1 Develop skills to locate, evaluate and interpret career information.

C:A1.7 Understand the importance of planning.

Pre-assessment: Before lesson begins. Students will be given a handout with 2 questions (see below) and asked to answer them. Collect them before conducting the lesson. 

1. What is financial aid?

2. How can you pay for college or technical school?

Post-assessment: After lesson concludes a new handout with the same 2 questions (see above) to will be given to the students to gage if their knowledge increased about financial aid.

Lesson: PowerPoint Presentation (Link included)
Talking points regarding specific slides are presented below:

Slide 1: Ask students what knowledge they have of financial aid before showing slide 2.

Slide 6: Students will most likely need their parents help to complete their FAFSA since it requires so many sensitive documents.

Slide 10: Selection criteria are listed clearly so students can determine quickly if they qualify for specific scholarships. Ensure students are not discouraged about scholarships simply because they do not have a high GPA. Some scholarships specifically select students in the GPA range of 2.0-2.99.

Helpful Hints:
Present around the time FAFSA applications are made available (January 1st). Usually present in December before Winter break so students have time to get all of the documentation they need to fill out the FAFSA in January or in January after applications are available.

Ensure that students understand that you are a resource to help them find scholarships and can help students and their parents fill out FAFSA applications if they have questions.

Encourage students to send their FAFSA to colleges/universities even if they are unsure if they will apply.

A FAFSA Parent Night will be helpful. The process can be daunting and overwhelming for everyone. Access to a computer lab will allow parents and students to fill out their FAFSA on site while school counselors walk around and help answer questions they may have.

Picture Resources:
Pinterest: College Motivation
Clip Art in Word


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