It seems almost weekly that we see in the media that today's young people don't like to read anything longer than a bullet point. That generalization may hold some truth, but because some people (including your students' parents, perhaps) are still willing to gather their information via the written word, we'd like to share some thoughts about disseminating financial aid information via articles and e-mails. And we promise to keep things short.
Using Articles About Federal Student Aid
If you have a school or parent-teacher organization newspaper, you might wish to include an occasional article about financial aid or college preparation. We plan to provide some samples for you throughout the year via our Search Financial Aid Tools and Resources page. Meanwhile, here are some topics you might consider, along with Web pages that have wording you can adapt for your articles:
- Federal Grants to Help Pay for College (find wording at StudentAid.gov/types/grants-scholarships)
- What to Do in 11th Grade to Get Ready for College (find wording at StudentAid.gov/prepare-for-college/checklists/11th-grade)
- Deciding Whether to Take Out a Private Student Loan (find wording at StudentAid.gov/types/loans/federal-vs-private)
- Gathering the Paperwork You'll Need for Your FAFSA (find wording at StudentAid.gov/fafsa/filling-out#documents)
- Making Responsible Decisions When Taking Out a Student Loan (find wording at StudentAid.gov/types/loans#considerations)
Using E-mails About Federal Student Aid
If you have your students' e-mail addresses, you may want to send them periodic reminders about topics such as these:
- The availability of the FAFSA (send this one in early January, along with a reminder of the FAFSA's .gov URL and the fact that it is a free application)
- Your state's or local college's FAFSA deadline (this could be as early as February or March)
- Correcting estimated information in the FAFSA after filing taxes (send this e-mail on April 16!)
- Informing colleges of the decision whether to attend; and making a deposit (send late April for those May 1 deadlines)
- Preparing for the end of a loan's grace period (frequently in November, so send this in late September or early October)
To enhance the effectiveness of your e-mails, you may choose to attach fact sheets, infographics, or videos. We've got a large selection on our Search Financial Aid Tools and Resources page.