College Financial Aid & Scholarship Resources:
The Bishop Verot Catholic High School counseling staff is available to help our Verot families with the college financial aid & scholarship process. This includes answering financial aid questions and assisting families with FAFSA or CSS profile-related questions. The counseling office will also offer a financial aid workshop for parents of seniors and hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity. Please feel free to contact Ms. Barbato at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Stejskal at email@example.com for more information.
How does it work?
Colleges and universities have special counselors who deal with financial aid. The office of financial aid calculates your expected family contribution (EFC) based primarily on tax information from the previous year, as determined by the FAFSA, CSS Profile (required by almost 400 colleges & scholarship programs), and institutional forms (when requested). The college then prepares a package to meet the difference between your expected family contribution and the actual cost of attending. This package could include loans, work study, and grants. Loans need to be paid back, although federal loans tend to have a much lower interest rate than private loans from the bank. Federal loans are based on financial need, while private loans are based on the borrower's credit. Grants are similar to scholarships - the money is applied to your tuition without repayment.
Pay attention to individual school requirements when gathering applications. Indicate that you are applying for financial aid if given the opportunity on college applications.
Types of Financial Aid:
Federal Financial Aid
We encourage all families, regardless of financial history, to complete the the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - FAFSA - when it becomes available on January 1st.
Many schools will not offer scholarships or work study unless the FAFSA has been filed. You will also not be eligible for need-based financial aid unless this form is filled out. The online Application will be available to seniors sometime in the late fall and should be submitted as soon on or after JAN. 1st as possible. Applications for Florida students must be received by May 15th of your senior year; however, submitting the FAFSA no later than Feb. 15 is recommended to maximize your chance of receiving aid.
The form is based on the previous year's taxes and W2s, so parents will need to prepare taxes early. A FAFSA worksheet is available on the FAFSA website. This is NOT the actual application; rather, the worksheet helps gather information before you apply using the FAFSA website. (Note: in order to be evaluated for summer term financial aid for your child’s first semester of college, the current year’s FAFSA should be completed this fall, which will allow you to update your child’s FAFSA for fall consideration on Jan. 1!)
FAFSA4caster is an online tool that helps students and parents determine their current eligibility for federal student aid. Juniors especially should check out www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov to learn how much aid they would receive if they applied today.
State Financial Aid
The state of Florida has its own financial aid application which is used to determine eligibility for the Bright Futures Scholarship and several additional state grant opportunities. All seniors should complete the Initial Student Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) when it becomes available in December. The FAFSA must also be completed in order to receive a Bright Futures Scholarship if a student qualifies.
School-Specific Financial Aid
Colleges use the FAFSA as the first step in determining financial need. Many schools also require the CSS Profile (prepared by the College Board) or their own school-specific financial aid application to gather more information. You'll need to pay close attention to each school's requirements, which are usually available on their application for admission or on their school website. In general, schools requiring the CSS Profile will ask for the form in the fall, before the student has been admitted (usually November), however the general rule-of-thumb is to submit it at least two weeks before the earliest college or scholarship priority filing date you need to meet. School-specific forms often come with acceptance letters to admitted students only. Students should be sure to indicate they are applying for financial aid if they have the opportunity on their college application. This indication will prompt the admissions office to forward necessary forms.
A note on Early Decision and Financial Aid:
Several high-profile colleges have recently dropped their early decision programs under the explanation that the process has an unfair bias against those who will require financial aid. An early decision application is BINDING - you are committing to that school, regardless of your financial aid package. If financial aid is a concern, it is advisable to apply under non-binding early action or regular decision plans so that you can compare financial aid packages before committing to a college.
SCHOLARSHIP & GRANTS
Scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid - a big plus! Students should be proactive in the search for "free money." It pays off down the road.
Scholarship information is available and updated by our Guidance staff on a weekly basis. Counselors are available to assist students with this process, however, It is up to each individual student to research and apply for scholarships!! An updated scholarship list will be emailed to the Senior Class each Friday, as well as posted on the Guidance website for parents and underclass students to access.
The BVHS "SCHOLARSHIP BOARD" ~ Links to the scholarships that are posted in Guidance. (updated weekly!)
We strongly encourage all scholarship applications and supporting materials to be submitted through the Guidance Department!
Financial Aid Information on the Web:
Free Scholarship Information on the Web:
Seniors attending private institutions in Florida
Seniors attending private institutions in Florida may be eligible to receive the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG); a program that provides tuition assistance to Florida undergraduate students attending an eligible private, non-profit Florida college or university. FRAG is a decentralized state of Florida program, which means that each participating institution determines application procedures, deadlines, and student eligibility. Applications may be obtained at the financial aid offices of eligible Florida colleges and universities and students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), complete and error free.