Welcome Take Stock Scholars to the start of another year! 2020 is going to be your year, we just know it! Let’s get this year off to a good start by making sure everything is in order as you to start a new semester.
In addition to making sure your schedule is just how you want it and mapping out all the best routes to your classes, it is important to make sure all your financial affairs are in order. At Take Stock in College, we know that financial aid concerns can be some of the most overwhelming, complicated issues that our students face during their time in school. But never fear! We have assembled some tips that will help you prevent issues before they even arise.
- Don’t wait for the semester to start
We recommend checking in with financial aid PRIOR to the start of the semester. The first week of classes brings with it long wait times and potential complications to your registration. If you have business to conduct with the financial aid office, be sure to beat the rush and pop in early!
- Check out your online portal.
Many of your financial aid issues can be identified or even solved by logging into your online portal and looking at your semester bill. Usually, you can manage your scholarships through your portal as well. Make a habit of checking, double-checking, and rechecking these pages. This can save you many headaches!
- Check the remaining balance on your scholarships.
If you have already used some of your scholarship, be sure to check in with your scholarship provider to check the balance of your scholarship. You don’t want to be caught off guard by this in the future. To check your Florida Prepaid Scholarship, reach out to your old Take Stock in Children College Success Coach or call 1-800-552-4723.
- Prioritize your scholarships
If you have other scholarships or grants that can disperse directly to you (like Bright Futures or a Pell Grant) be sure to prioritize these scholarships with the school. This way your institution knows to pull from your Florida Prepaid scholarship last. If there is a remaining balance, they will then take from one of your other funding sources. Usually you can perform this task through your scholarship management tool in your online portal, but occasionally this requires an in-person visit to financial aid.
- Remind yourself of the parameters of your scholarships
The beginning of the semester is an ideal time to reacquaint yourself with the rules of your scholarships. Are you required to take a certain number of credit hours or to maintain a particular GPA? Does the rewarding institution require you to fill out a survey, write a thank you note, or turn in your grades prior to the start of each semester or new year? Awareness of these particulars can not only help ensure you are on-track and in good standing, but also prevent you from making avoidable mistakes like inadvertently dropping below the number of required credit hours.
- Fill out your 2020 Florida Prepaid Survey
While we are on the topic, your Take Stock scholarship requires you fill out the Florida Prepaid survey each year. Be sure to fill this out ASAP!
- Ask about other scholarships!
Remember, it takes a few months to hear if you have received a scholarship you have applied to so you have to think ahead! When you are visiting financial aid or surfing their website, do not forget to ask about scholarship opportunities and deadlines!
Remember, a little bit of preparation goes a long way toward achieving success! Investing a little time to sort your financial aid priorities now will pay dividends to your future financial security. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your College Completion Coach. We are here to help you make 2020 your best year yet!