30
Sep

VSAC makes getting all your financial aid as easy as 1-2-3

The FAFSA, Vermont State Grant – and now VSAC scholarships – are available Oct. 1

WINOOSKI (September 30, 2019)— Financial aid season opens Oct. 1 and filing your applications now will put you in the driver’s seat when planning for your education and training after high school.

Once you file your FAFSA and Vermont State Grant applications, you’ll know what free financial aid you can expect. Financially eligible Vermonters could get as much as $8,000 – enough to go to the Community College of Vermont tuition free!

Step 1 is the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s online and straightforward to complete – for most people, it takes about 30 minutes.

“The FAFSA is the key, literally the gateway, to all financial aid – federal Pell grants, the Vermont State Grant, many scholarships, institutional aid, work-study programs and federal loans,” said Marilyn Cargill, vice president of financial aid services at Vermont Student Assistance Corp. “If you decide not to fill out the FAFSA, you are very likely going to overpay for your education. Or you may choose not to go, which could be an even bigger, more expensive mistake.”

Step 2 is the Vermont State Grant. Once you finish your FAFSA, you can link to vsac.org where you can complete a handful of additional questions to apply for a Vermont State Grant.

Step 3 is applying for any (or all!) of the 150 scholarships for Vermonters, administered by VSAC. Last year, over 3,100 Vermonters received $5.4 million to continue their studies. A complete list of scholarships and the application are available online at vsac.org.

“When it comes to applying for financial aid, VSAC’s got you covered,” Cargill said. VSAC hosts financial aid forms workshops in over 50 high schools during October and November; a schedule can be found at vsac.org.

A Facebook Live event is planned for Oct. 21 at 7 p.m., to provide question-by-question guidance on filling out the FAFSA, led by VSAC counselor Carrie Harlow. Just visit VSAC’s Facebook page to follow along or re-watch at another time.

FAFSA Fridays are back, too, where families can call or make an appointment with a VSAC counselor for individual assistance. Call 833-802-VSAC for more information.

Vermont wants to see 65% of high school seniors complete a FAFSA this year, Cargill said. “When it comes to financial aid for education and training after high school, the sooner you file the better.”

Need more reasons to file a FAFSA? Check out these incentives:

If you fill out the FAFSA before Dec. 31, seven Vermont colleges have an extra incentive – an additional $1,000 FAFSA scholarship drawing when you apply to and then attend one of these schools: Castleton University, Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University, Norwich University, Sterling College, University of Vermont and Vermont Technical College.

VSAC also urges students to FAFSA now to be in the running for one of hundreds of $1,000 scholarships from the College Board. The College Board will award 200 Complete the FAFSA scholarships every month from October through December 2019 and 100 scholarships every month from January through February 2020. The scholarship opens in October 2019.

Share your experiences about the FAFSA on social media and tag @vsac and #FastFAFSA50. You could win a $50 gift card in our weekly Fast FAFSA $50 drawings, October through February.

And that’s not all: VSAC is offering its own incentive to get high school seniors to file the FAFSA. Every high school that has 70 percent (or better) of their seniors completing a FAFSA will be entered in a drawing for $1,000 for a school-approved senior class activity. Burr and Burton Academy, Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School and Proctor Junior/Senior High School won the last three $1,000 drawings.

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to myVSACstory@vsac.org or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at www.vsac.org or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives