November a big month for seniors with college hopes

FAFSA should be at the top of the priority list

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Mikala McCracken

There’s a lot going on in the month of November for students planning for their lives after high school.

Julie Bauer, Staff Writer

November is a busy month for high school seniors looking to go to college. At Bellwood-Antis, the guidance department will be offering several opportunities to make college admissions less stressful.

One of these is the FAFSA Completion Session on November 9, at which students and their families can meet with a financial aid representative to complete their FAFSA.

“Parts of it can be confusing especially with everybody’s different financial situations,” said Ms. Danielle Patton, the High School’s guidance counselor. “This is an opportunity for [seniors] to come and meet with an expert from PHEAA where they can sit down and make sure they’re filling out all the information correctly.”

Time slots are available from 12 noon. to 7 p.m. To participate, you may call in or sign up in the guidance office.

The ASVAB will be given on November 15, at 8 a.m. in Room 101. This exam is required for students wishing to enter the military, but it can also be used by other students to explore career options.  Students may sign up in the guidance office.

In addition, several colleges and post-secondary institutions are visiting Bellwood-Antis this month. College visits include University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on November 6. Conemaugh Health System will be visiting on November 8 for students interested in nursing.

“Getting initial information about it from the college visits allows them to say ‘I want to learn more’ or ‘This school’s not for me,’” said Ms. Patton.

Ms. Patton strongly recommends students tour the campuses of colleges they are interested in. “Certain schools sound nice in theory, but you have to visit and make sure that it’s the right college fit,” she said.

Lost? Ms. Patton also gave some advice for college-bound seniors.

“Making sure that they’re organized is a huge part of it because every school has its own application process and application deadlines…Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of all of that,” she said.

Ms. Patton also advised that students keep track of their financial aid options. She said, “College is not inexpensive. It’s really important that [seniors] complete all required forms and that they check into any financial aid offered specifically through the schools they’re interested in, as well as any scholarships that come up.”

Students can regularly check at the guidance office for scholarships.