On Wednesday, Sept. 18th, BRACE advisor Ana Farrand organized a follow-up meeting to last week’s college information night, in the Stoneman Douglas auditorium to thoroughly explain the financial aid process and scholarship opportunities for students and parents.
The 90-minute meeting focused on applying for FAFSA, FFAA and the CSS profiles from CollegeBoard with presentations from Farrand and the Director of Financial Aid at Broward College, Sara Kaufman.
The presentation began with Farrand explaining the benefits and need for financial assistance for the average student looking towards receiving a higher education. The costs of not only tuition but textbooks, transportation, room and board, and other expenses begin to pile up; financial aid helps lessen that load.
“Our main goal is to help provide parents and students with the resources to go through the application process with ease,” Farrand said.
The two most important types of financial aid are from the state and the government. The state provides FFAA, which will be completed at MSD in November; the application is known to be free as long as the “.gov” website is used. The state provides a variety of scholarships for students, including Bright Futures. The FAFSA application must be completed to apply for any state and federal student assistance. Government (FAFSA) and State (FFAA) financial aid applications both open on Oct. 1st.
The process begins by visiting the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) online. Other resources online such as https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org/PDF/PSI/HS-1819-03a.pdf provide a detailed reference guide for step-by-step instructions on how to apply for Florida financial aid.
All the information submitted must be double-checked since errors in information may delay the process. In addition, all emails sent from OFSA should be saved for the record in case of any complications throughout the process.
“Honestly, I thought that the applications were going to be long and complicated, ” junior Melanie Lee said. “But now I have a better idea of what I have to complete.”
Kaufman also explained how the FAFSA form must be renewed every year for students to receive yearly benefits. This application is used by financial aid offices to determine a student’s eligibility for financial assistance. To be eligible to apply for FAFSA, a student must be a U.S citizen or eligible noncitizen, have a valid social security number, and a high school diploma or GED.