HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS –
PLAN NOW, HOTTY TODDY LATER!
Click each section to see more details
SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS “FINANCIAL AID”?
Financial aid is any money that can help you pay for college – scholarships, grants, loans, and work opportunities. This money can come from the U.S. Department of Education, the state where you live, outside organizations, or from your college. But, you first have to apply!
College may seem like a long ways away sometimes, but now is really the perfect time to start thinking about your financial aid options and how you will pay for school. You’ll be ahead of the game and you and your family won’t have any surprises if you have a good financial plan in place.
START THE CONVERSATIONS EARLY
Make time to sit down with your parents/guardians/high school counselor to discuss how you will pay for college.
- How much will all four years cost?
- Do you or your family have a college savings plan in place?
Learn about the Cost of Attendance (COA):
- You’ll hear us in the financial aid office talk about your cost of attendance or your budget. The two terms are used interchangeably.
- This is not necessarily what you have to pay to attend a school. It is an estimate of how much it could cost to attend an institution when one takes into account various expenses that include housing, food, books & supplies, and personal & travel costs, as well as tuition.
- All schools have to use the same COA components, so this is a good tool to use for comparing the costs of institutions.
Learn about the Net Price Calculator:
- This is an interactive tool that simulates your scholarship and other financial aid (federal, state) eligibility.
- All schools have one to help you determine your individual cost of attending a university.
- Check out UM’s Net Price Calculator here: https://finaid.olemiss.edu/calculator
Do not assume that everything is covered by federal aid and/or scholarships. If you think it will be, be sure to confirm!
WORK ON BUILDING YOUR RESUME
Take on leadership roles when you can. Did you know that we have scholarships for High School Valedictorian/Salutatorian, Student Body President, Eagle Scout/Gold Award, Boys State/Girls State, among others?
Stay involved. Some scholarship applications want to hear about how you have helped your school or community.
Make strong connections now – you may need a teacher/advisor/counselor/principal to write a Letter of Recommendation for you one day. Scholarship applications sometimes require these letters.
Use your summers wisely – work, volunteer, or take a summer college course.
KEEP WORKING ON YOUR ACADEMICS TO THE VERY END
Talk to your guidance counselor to find out what core subject high school courses you need take in order to meet college admissions requirements.
Focus on getting good grades – they matter! Merit based scholarships are partly based on your high school GPA.
Sign up for the ACT and/or SAT prep courses – some are free!
Take (and retake) the ACT and SAT tests. Merit-based scholarships are partly based on your test scores.
Talk to your guidance counselor about Advanced Placement courses. Find out if you are eligible to take them and how to enroll.
Look for challenging courses that interest you or match your career interest.
NARROW DOWN YOUR SEARCH
Narrow down your list of colleges and universities that you are interested in and become familiar with their admissions requirements and deadlines – this is very important!
Get to know you admissions counselor so that you have someone to call.
If you can, arrange campus visits.
Now that you know about Cost of Attendance and the Net Price Calculator, start comparing costs and aid options.
Call the Office of Financial Aid to discuss any gaps in funding.
WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT, GET GOING ON APPLICATIONS
Apply for admission to the colleges of your choice.
Submit each college’s scholarship application and look into outside scholarships, too.
Apply for federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa. It’s required for some scholarships, too.
Apply for state aid. For Mississippi residents: https://www.msfinancialaid.org
CHECK OLE MISS OUT – WE HOPE TO SEE YOU HERE!
Schedule a visit: https://admissions.olemiss.edu/visit
Apply for admission: https://olemiss.edu/applynow
Check out the Applications and Awarding for the Current Academic Year: https://finaid.olemiss.edu/timeline