At the beginning of the school year and each semester, the Take Stock team receives phone calls and emails from students with issues related to financial aid. Follow the steps below to minimize delays in financial aid.
Students attending a technical program, college, or university must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for federal financial aid. Once the FAFSA is complete, you will be notified of eligibility for the federal PELL Grant and other forms of aid. Colleges you designate to receive FAFSA information may offer additional aid based on your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). — this is called something else on the Better FAFSA. Let’s use the new name so students become familiar with the new terminology.
Become familiar with your college portal and all sources of financial aid each semester. We recommend reviewing your financial aid line-by-line to ensure all funding sources are applied to your student account. If you receive a PELL Grant (1), that will appear on one line. Your Florida Prepaid Scholarship (2) will show on another line, as will other scholarships you receive. See example below:
1) Is your Federal PELL Grant showing on your college portal? If it is not showing, did you complete the FAFSA for the current school year? If you have not completed it, you should do so as soon as possible. If you completed your FAFSA and it is not showing on your college portal, there could be an error on your FAFSA form. Contact your campus Financial Aid office for assistance. If you need help completing your FAFSA, please schedule a meeting with a Take Stock in College team member using the booking link at the bottom of this article.
2) Is your Florida Prepaid STARS scholarship visible on your college portal? (see example above) If you do not see your Florida Prepaid on your college portal, did you complete your Florida Prepaid Survey? If you are a freshman, you do not need to complete the survey right now, but be sure to complete it in the Spring! Here is the link to complete the survey:
This survey must be completed annually for your funds to be disbursed. Failure to complete the survey annually will result in your scholarship being frozen. If you have trouble completing the survey, call Florida Prepaid at 1-800-552-4723.
Once your Florida Prepaid survey has been completed, please give your Florida Prepaid Account Number to your campus Cashier’s Office or the Bursar’s Office. The college or university must add it to your college portal each semester. It is your responsibility to ensure that your college/university has your Florida Prepaid scholarship account number each semester.
3) If you are attending a technical school, private college or university, or out-of-state university, did you contact your home county Take Stock in Children Affiliate to inform them about your college choice? You will need signed permission/approval to use your Florida Prepaid STARS Scholarship at a technical school, private college or university, or out-of-state university. Contact your local affiliate to secure a Florida Prepaid transfer form.
4) If you need to know how many Florida Prepaid hours you have left, reach out to your Take Stock in Children Affiliate or Florida Prepaid. When calling Florida Prepaid, please have your Florida Prepaid account number or social security number on hand so that they can access your information. Florida Prepaid Phone Number: 1-800-552-4723.
After completing these four steps, book an appointment with a Take Stock in College team member if you still have issues with your FAFSA or Florida Prepaid STARS Scholarship.
We are here to help you with college, career, and life.
The Take Stock in College Team