Guidance

This site has test dates for ACT and SAT exams, along with practice questions and SAT math review videos.

http://www.testdatescentral.com/sat-test-dates.html

Here are some other great links  to use when Searching for a College!:

College Board:

Ohio Career Information System

 

ACT
ACT provides this monthly newsletter to inform students and their parents about college and career planning. ACT is a not-for-profit organization that serves millions of people in schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses and government agencies with programs and services that help people achieve their education and career goals. Visit www.actstudent.orgfor more information and services.

 

Get ready for financial aid applications

In addition to private scholarships, federal financial aid is available for students attending two-year or four-year, public or private, career or trade colleges and schools. The aid is intended to cover expenses such as tuition, room and board, books, other supplies and transportation. Most students receive the aid based on the level of their financial need.

Students can receive federal financial aid in the form of grants, loans or work-study. Grants are financial awards that do not have to be repaid. Examples include Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. Loans, of course, must be repaid after you complete your schooling. The best loans are typically those that are subsidized by the federal or state government, as they generally carry lower interest rates. Work-study provides financial help through jobs, usually on campus, so students can help pay for education expenses.

To find out about federal financial aid programs and your rights and responsibilities under these programs, read “Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid” from the U.S. Department of Education at studentaid.ed.gov/guide. You also can request a free paper copy by contacting the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-4-FED-AID. The guide is available in both English and Spanish.

ACTprovides links to a number of financial aid resources on its website atactstudent.org/finaid. You’ll find a good financial aid overview in easy-to-understand language, plus a list of places to contact for more information on loans, scholarships and government programs.

How to apply for financial aid

If you’re planning to attend college next fall, January is the time to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Information from the FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for the federal student aid programs mentioned above—grants, loans and work-study.

You can get the FAFSA:

  • online at www.fafsa.ed.gov
  • from your school counselor
  • from a college financial aid office
  • from a local public library
  • from the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)

Make sure you check financial aid deadlines! The FAFSA will list deadlines for federal and state aid. Also be sure to check the requirements at the colleges to which you’re interested in applying, as some require additional financial aid forms.

Beware of college financial aid myths

College application season is in full swing. As you apply to colleges and check out their costs, don’t let unnecessary fears overshadow this exciting time in your life. The key is to be aware of the myths surrounding the price of a higher education.

Myth #1: Everyone pays the “sticker price” for college.
Many students add the tuition price, textbook fees and the cost of living and say there is no way they can afford college. Don’t dismiss the idea of going to college because of its “sticker price.” If you have financial need, there is a good chance that you can get assistance. In fact, the majority of college students need financial help of some kind, and there are many different sources of aid. In addition to federal help, financial aid is also available from most individual colleges. You may receive a combination of grants, scholarships and/or work-study jobs to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Myth #2: You have to be very poor, very smart or very talented to qualify for financial aid.
Financial aid comes in many forms. Talented and high-achieving students may be more likely to be awarded scholarships, but financial aid is not limited to them nor to students from low-income families. A wide variety of financial aid sources are available; the federal government, the college or university itself, and even a parent’s employer may all offer some form of financial assistance. Your situation does not have to be extreme for you to receive aid. Explore all the possibilities.

Myth #3: You can get more scholarships by paying someone to search for you.
Scholarship scams are everywhere. Beware of any group or individual who guarantees a scholarship if you pay a fee. There are many good and FREE scholarship sources on the Internet. We suggest you check out fastweb.com or finaid.org for more information.

Myth #4: If you pay for college, your parents’ salaries don’t matter.
For a majority of students, need-based financial aid is based on both the student’s and parents’ income and assets—whether or not the parents plan to help pay for college. Most schools require students to fill out complete family financial information on the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, in order to qualify for need-based aid. The form, available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, asks for information similar to what’s filed for income taxes. After submitting the FAFSA, you receive a report that shows the contribution your family is expected to pay toward your education.

Myth #5: You can wait until you get accepted to a college before worrying about financial aid.
There is competition for some financial aid, so it’s best not to wait before applying. While most colleges have their own sources of aid, there are several independent programs that award scholarship funds on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s not a lot of fun filling out the applications, but putting it off is not a good idea.

Financial aid terms

The following are some key financial aid terms:

Aid package ― A combination of aid (possibly including a scholarship, grant, loan or work) determined by a college financial aid office.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) ― The amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. It is used in determining eligibility for federal student aid.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ― The application required for students to be considered for federal student financial aid. Obtain a FAFSA form or electronic filing information from a high school or college for the appropriate school year. The FAFSA is processed free of charge and used by most state agencies and colleges.

Grants ― Awards, usually based on financial need, which do not require repayment. Grants are available through the federal government, state agencies and educational institutions.

Scholarships ― Awards to students based on merit or merit plus need that do not have to be repaid.

Student Aid Report (SAR) ― A report that summarizes all the information you provided on your FAFSA. Your SAR will usually contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the number used in determining your eligibility for federal student aid. You will receive your SAR by e-mail within 3–5 days after your FAFSA has been processed, if you provided an e-mail address when you applied. This e-mail will contain a secure link so you can access your SAR online.

You will receive a paper SAR by mail within 7–10 days after your FAFSA has been processed, if you do not provide an e-mail address when you apply. Whether you apply online or by paper, we will automatically send your data electronically to the schools you listed on your FAFSA.

A great way to stand out to employers

ACT provides a great way for those looking for a job or internship to differentiate themselves from their competition. Because a job opening can draw many different applicants, it’s important for you to demonstrate and showcase the skills and personal strengths that set you apart. When you are able to show that you are ready to succeed, you expand your career opportunities.

You may want to start with WorkKeys®, a work skills assessment system that measures skills needed to succeed in particular jobs. WorkKeys serves as the basis for the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), a workforce credential that many employers use and value. By qualifying for an NCRC at one of four levels—platinum, gold, silver or bronze—you demonstrate and confirm your skill readiness for possible college internships and potential jobs. You can find out more about the National Career Readiness Certificate by visiting this ACT web page.

As employers consider applicants for open positions, they look at a number of factors. Among them are people’s “soft skills.” Soft skills are essentially personal characteristics like communication skills, work ethic, attitude and desire to be trained. These skills are often tough for job seekers to demonstrate and for employers to evaluate in a resume or interview. That’s why ACT created the NCRC Plus.

The NCRC Plus is earned after taking a test that measures your soft skills. A number of areas are evaluated, including work discipline, ability to work on a team, customer service orientation and managerial potential. Based on the answers you provide, you will receive a score from one to four stars. The more stars you receive, the more likely you are to succeed in that given category. The NCRC Plus lets employers know what type of employee you would make. You can earn the NCRC Plus by taking the WorkKeys Talent assessment at an ACT testing center. To find the one closest to you, click here.