FHN to Host FAFSA Help Session Oct. 12

Posted on 10/10/2017
FHN FAFSA Help Session Graphic

Francis Howell North High School will be holding a Free Application for Federal Student Aid Help Session to help families work their way through the process. Financial aid experts will be in attendance, and session attendees will be entered for a chance to win a scholarship. It all takes place on Thursday, Oct. 12, from 4:30 – 6:00 PM.

It’s that time of year again for students to see whether they are eligible to receive financial aid. FAFSA, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation, providing more than $120 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 13 million students for their college or career school. Class of 2018 parents, especially, should not wait.

“I think a lot of families put it off,” said FHN College and Career Counselor Brooke Prestidge, “because they think it will be a complicated and long process. Actually, it is much easier now than in past years; and by offering a help session at FHN with financial aid experts on hand, we are giving our families a great opportunity to get it completed or to ask specific questions.”

The Help Session will occur during Parent Teacher Conferences on Oct. 12. Senior students and their parents can drop by Computer Lab 26 between 4:30 and 6:00 PM to get assistance and meet with FAFSA experts. Session attendees will also be entered in a scholarship lottery, although the winner must enroll in a Missouri institution for next fall.

Some students don’t even think about applying for aid, a problem FHN wants to solve. “A big misconception is that you should only fill it out for four-year colleges, and only if your family has a low income,” Prestidge said. “Neither of these are true. Any student considering post-secondary education (four-year college, two-year college, or technical college) should file a FAFSA, and all families – regardless of income – should file it.

"Family income is not the only factor that the government uses to decide if a student qualifies for federal financial aid and many colleges require students to complete the FAFSA if they want to be eligible for their scholarships. It might even increase merit aid if they see a family is not eligible for any federal aid. And – most importantly – it is free to submit, so why not do it!”

The FAFSA opened on Oct. 1, so now is the time to see what aid is available. Prestidge said, “Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so know your deadlines and apply as early as you can to maximize the aid you deserve.”

These are the steps necessary to take to complete the FAFSA:

  • Both student and parent will need a FSA ID in order to sign/file the FAFSA electronically (parent and student need to have separate email addresses): Go to fsaid.ed.gov and click “Create FSA ID” tab


  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on this website using student & Parent FSA ID: Go to: fafsa.gov and click “Start a New FAFSA”


  • If you filed taxes last year, filing the FAFSA takes an average of 23 minutes (and remember – it’s FREE!). Make sure you click the IRS Retrieval Tool button, which will pull all of your tax info (even if you didn’t file your taxes electronically). Less than one percent of FAFSA forms are filed as paper applications. 

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