Taking advantage of opportunities through financial aid
Lois Kelly, a retired financial aid officer, came Jan. 12, 2017 to the PAC to discuss her career development and how to take advantage of financial aid opportunities. Kelly worked with high school students exploring their options, visiting over 30 schools a year, by providing help and information on state grants and scholarships. She worked alongside with academic counselors, writing counselors, and registrars to support struggling students and point them in the right direction as well as help students apply for the right courses for their degree.
“There are a number of job and career opportunities at the universities where students might be attending and they should look around for any jobs there that they might be interested in.” Kelly says on getting out and exploring the options that are immediately available to you on campus. She recommends to ask people in positions you are interested in: How did you get this job? What education was required? This can open a student’s eyes, she said, to what they should be setting out to achieve, and open doors to new opportunities by expressing their interest.
She thinks most families worry: How will we pay for college? The price of tuition, books and supplies, room and board, and additional fees all start to add up. Scholarships can take a lot of time and effort to apply for but it is a task that will be worth it in the end. There are many offered locally and through private institutions, so Kelly recommends putting in the extra energy to open as many doors as possible for yourself. Apply early for the FAFSA and other financial aid opportunities. If a student is not eligible for the FAFSA they can use the California Dreams application. March 2 is the absolute deadline for consideration for state aid. Juniors can start the application process October 1.