Congratulations to the class of 2015 on successfully graduating! Now that high school is officially behind your student, there are some things over the summer that you should be considering:
Orientation: Many colleges require incoming freshmen to attend an on-campus orientation session. The purpose of orientation is to allow new students an opportunity to get used to campus and become familiar with the expectations and responsibilities of college life. Many times students will also meet with their academic advisers and register for classes at orientation. Make sure you are paying attention to all mail from the college your student is planning to attend as it will tell you how to register for orientation and/or when their orientation date is.
Registering for Classes: As said previously, at some colleges, registration for classes takes place during orientation. At others, students may be expected to register themselves after attending orientation. If you are not sure how or when your student should be registering for classes, contact the college.
The First Bill: Typically, information about your student’s first bill is available in July, and the first payment is expected sometime in August. If you completed your student’s FAFSA, the college should have sent an award letter stating the anticipated Cost of Attendance (COA) and how much financial aid your student is estimated to receive. This information can be used to estimate how much money your student will need to cover the first bill.
Many colleges and universities offer payment plans so students can pay for college in smaller installments. Be sure to check with the college if your student needs to pay for their education using a payment plan.
When Your Student Gets Their Money: Pay careful attention to when loans and other types of financial aid will actually be able to be used to pay for your student’s bill as there may be a gap between when the bill is due and when your student can actually use the money given to them.
For example, work-study money is distributed to your student as a regular paycheck throughout a semester. So they will not have the total amount of money from work-study to apply to their first bill.
The FAFSA and the New FSA ID: For those who still need to apply for the FAFSA, or need to make changes to their FAFSA, it is important to note that the federal PIN is no longer being used to electronically sign the FAFSA. For security reasons, the PIN is being replaced by the FSA ID (see attachment). This is not something to be concerned about. You should just be aware that you will now need to create an FSA ID to use on any website which would have used the PIN previously.
If you have any questions over the summer, please contact the College Adviser, Miss Little, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great summer!