November 2023

Welcome to the November edition of the College Now Student Newsletter! This month, we cover changes coming to the Better FAFSA (which is set to open by December 31), important deadlines, upcoming test dates and more.  


Please share this information with your parent(s)/guardian(s) and contact your College Now advisor with any questions or if you'd like additional information. College Now is here to support YOU on your journey to a successful career.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is scheduled to open on Sunday, Dec. 31 with significant changes! Complete the FAFSA to access grants, work-study funds and loans for your college or career journey.


While the FAFSA isn't open just yet, you can create your FSA ID now. Ensure it's done before you start the FAFSA so you're ready to roll when the application period begins. If you need assistance with setting up your ID, follow our step-by-step instructions or scroll for details on our upcoming FSA ID workshop.


Spread the word and review these details to learn more about the smoother application process.  

Learn More
Changes Coming to the FAFSA

Freshmen

  • Volunteer over winter break.  
  • Check to make sure your GPA is on track. Maintaining a 2.5 or higher is critical at this point. 
  • Review and discuss course options with your family and school counselor to ensure you are on the right track.  
  • Review your PSAT results (if taken) and create a plan to improve your score. If you haven’t yet taken the PSAT, check with your College Now advisor on the upcoming test dates at your school. The more practice you can get, the better! Your results will not be used for college admission. 
  • Prepare for end-of-semester exams. Make sure you understand how these tests might impact your GPA and ability to earn course credit.  
  • Take time over the break to discuss your interests and future. Perhaps head to the library for some ‘break time’ reading and find books or biographies of people in your careers of interest. 


Sophomores

  • Review PSAT and Pre-ACT scores with your school counselor. Become familiar with Khan Academy, ACT Academy and other study tools. Ask your College Now advisor about programs to support your test preparation. 
  • Check to make sure your GPA is on track. Maintaining a 2.5 or higher is critical at this point. 
  • Prepare for end-of-semester exams. 
  • Begin researching the admission requirements of colleges that interest you. Compare your current scores and grades with the incoming student profile on the colleges’ admission pages to determine whether you could be admitted today. 
  • Take time over the break to discuss your interests and future. Perhaps head to the library for some ‘break time’ reading and find books or biographies of people in their careers of interest. 


Juniors

  • Review PSAT scores with your College Now advisor
  • Check to make sure your GPA is on track. Maintaining a 3.0 or higher is critical for scholarships and financial aid. 
  • Link your College Board and Khan Academy accounts to take advantage of SAT study tools. 
  • Register for an ACT/SAT test prep program such as College Now’s impact! program or a bootcamp. 
  • Consider setting up a job shadowing opportunity to see if the field you are interested in is really what you think it is. Ask your guidance counselor or College Now advisor for assistance, as needed. 
  • Take time over winter break to discuss your interests and future. Perhaps head to the library for some ‘break time’ reading and find books or biographies of people in their careers of interest. 



Seniors

  • Continue to refine your college/university applications for winter deadlines. Ensure that all instructions have been followed and that details are accurate.
  • Check to make sure your GPA is on track. Maintaining a 3.0 or higher is critical for scholarships and financial aid.
  • Take time over winter break to discuss your interests and future. Perhaps head to the library for some 'break time' reading and find books or biographies of people in their careers of interest.
  • Continue to apply for scholarships and check their deadlines. Winter break may be an excellent time to prepare your scholarship applications.
  • Ensure that your FSA ID has been created and assist parent(s)/guardian(s) in your household, if needed, with creating one(s) as well.
  • File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) beginning Dec. 31. Watch your email for the notification from the U.S. Department of Education that your Student Aid Report is available and take any recommended or required actions.
  • If you applied Early Decision or Early Action, look for admissions decisions to arrive by email, U.S. mail and/or your college portal.
  • Once you have been accepted to a college, check the student portal regularly for announcements and items that need to be completed.

FSA ID Workshop

Saturdays, Dec. 2 & 9, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.


Join College Now on Saturdays, Dec. 2 and 9, for our FSA ID creation workshops! These workshops will walk you through the process of creating your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID username and password. This information is required to log into studentaid.gov to complete the FAFSA and FSA loan materials. These sessions are open to both parents and students and will take place at our downtown office located at 1500 West 3rd Street, Suite 125, Cleveland. 

 

Metered parking is complimentary on Saturdays, and public transportation via RTA train and bus lines is readily accessible through Public Square and Tower City. We'll have computers on hand for any assistance needed during the workshops. 

  

Help spread the word by sharing this information with your parent(s) or guardian(s).  

Register online at cngc.org/FSAID to secure your spot today! 

FSAID Workshops
Directions to College Now from Tower City
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Webinar: College Affordability and the FAFSA

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 6 - 7:30 p.m.


Unlock the mysteries of college affordability and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Navigate tuition, financial aid and more. Equip yourself with tools and insights to strategically manage your college finances.  

Register Here

Webinar: Post-Application Playbook: You've Applied to College- Now What?

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 6 - 7:30 p.m.


Learn the next steps after college application submission and how to make the most of your winter break. Embrace this period of anticipation and find ways to enrich your academic and personal growth in the interim. 

Register Here

Many more college preparation events are planned for January and beyond. Check out our calendar and save the dates!

Workshop Calendar

Register for an upcoming college entrance exam today! We encourage you to take at least two exams before applying to college. Check with your College Now advisor about the steps needed for registering for

ACT


Exam Date: December 9


(Registration window has closed- if you are registered, please ensure you are prepared for the exam.)



Exam Date: February 10

Registration Deadline: January 5

Late Registration: January 19

SAT


Exam Date: December 2


(Registration window has closed- if you are registered, please ensure you are prepared for the exam.)


Exam date: March 9  

Registration Deadline: February 23

(Note that SAT will be administering a digital exam.)

Check with your College Now advisor about how to register for these tests.

Why should you test? Although many institutions across the nation no longer require entrance exams, College Now encourages students to take at least two exams before graduating. Plus, colleges/universities may require a test score for specific academic majors and scholarships. Bottom line: Take the exams! 

College Now Traditional Scholarship







In order to qualify, students must:

  • Attend a College Now-served high school
  • Be recommended by their College Now advisor
  • Have a cumulative weighted GPA of at least a 2.5
  • Have a minimum ACT composite score of 18 or combined verbal and math SAT score of 960
  • File the 2024-2025 FAFSA
  • Qualify for the Federal Pell Grant
  • Show ambition by being responsive to their College Now advisor and turning in required documents by the deadline.


The application opens Monday, January 1, 2024. Talk to your advisor for more information and to submit your documents.

Cleveland Foundation Scholarships

Applications Open Dec. 15 

College Now manages more than 60 Cleveland Foundation scholarships. These scholarships vary in criteria and scope, and there is something for nearly everyone. By completing the general application, students can be considered for dozens of scholarships. Please note that while the general application covers many scholarships, others (such as corporate/group scholarships, external scholarships, and a small number of specialized scholarships) require a separate application. The application opens Dec. 15; the deadline to apply is March 15, 2024. Click here for more information.   

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Scholarship


Scholarship Amount: Up to $7,000 for qualifying students




In order to qualify, students with disabilities must:

  • Apply for OOD services online at OODWorks.com 
  • OOD staff will then call the applicant and schedule an appointment
  • Complete the required paperwork to finalize the application 
  • Staff will determine eligibility and plan the next steps 


For more information on this scholarship, click here.

College Now partners with a number of community organizations – both corporate and non-profit – to bring its college access services to students outside of school hours. Both programs listed below are open to all high school students in Northeast Ohio, even if you don't attend the high school the program is held at!

impact!


impact! is a five week-long program that focuses on entrance exam preparation and college and career readiness. This program, funded by the Ohio Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, is administered by College Now Greater Cleveland. The goal of impact! is to help students meet state and local standards in core academic subject areas, specifically mathematics and reading.


This program is free and open to high school students from any school in Northeast Ohio. This program is offered at various locations, allowing you to choose the one that is most convenient for you!


Upon completion of the program, students are eligible for stipend of at least $400 if they met the attendance requirements!

Register Today

Xplore



Xplore is College Now’s after school program that focuses on college and career readiness, travel and finding the major that’s best for students. Each session focuses on a meta-major that students deep-dive into.


This program is free and open to high school students from any school in Northeast Ohio. This program is offered at various locations, allowing you to choose the one that is most convenient for you. The most exciting part? A weeklong trip is associated with each meta-major!

Register Today


See you next month! In the meantime, reach out to your

College Now advisor!

Contact Us

Post Office Plaza

1500 West 3rd Street, Suite 125

Cleveland, OH 44113

216.241.5587

collegenowgc.org

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