Written by Drew Marzano |
On Thursday, November 3rd, Morgan’s Guidance Department hosted a financial aid night. This night was geared towards the upperclassmen, but all students were encouraged to attend. The meeting featured a presentation by Associate VP/University Director of Financial Aid Dominic Yoia from Quinnipiac University. The night was mostly based on college and the costs that may be associated with it, as well as some “last minute” preparation steps.
Starting off was an introduction on the topic of the college selection process, and the controversial topic – Should college be ‘free’? Mr. Yoia went into detail about the college selection process as well as the three types of colleges: community college, public & private universities. On the topic of free education, Mr. Yoia went on to discuss the costs for college that every student has to encounter, including prices for clothes and groceries. Mr. Yoia also described some last minute tips and tricks to save money (coupons, frequent flyer miles).
The presentation was also about college itself. Sure enough, college was a frequent topic discussed at the presentation. Mr. Yoia discussed how students should prepare for their college search. such as visiting colleges and attending open houses, and retaking the SAT’s and ACT’s as a single set of test scores are indicative of a “lazy student”. Mr. Yoia also mentioned how students can apply for grants and scholarships, as they give away free money based on need and achievement. Student loans were also brought up and discussed, and he advised paying them off ASAP before they come and haunt you.
Mr. Yoia also mentioned many ways that are possible to lower the cost of college. such as registering for FAFSA and CSS. These sources are used by many colleges and this information can help determine whether students are eligible to qualify for state and federal aid. Mr. Yoia also mentioned that students can also sign up for an FSA ID and that it can be important to use in the future.
Mr. Yoia then shifted the focus of the presentation to the actual topic of financial aid. There are 2 types of financial aid that are available:
- Type 1 – Unusual Circumstances
- Loss of job
- Substantial loss of income
- Death of a parent
- In order to apply for this type of financial aid, all of the above circumstances must be documented
- Type 2 – General Appeal
- Rank in class
The presentation proved to be helpful to many students that attended. Junior Brett Martin had many positive opinions about the event. “Although a lot of the talk was about federal grants and forms that I didn’t fully understand, the presenter was really great on explaining just about everything that we needed to know about the college financial aid process…Even my mom walked out of the presentation happy; she learned things that not only apply to going to my college, but even applied to my sister in the private school she goes to. Overall, it was a really informative presentation.”
Senior Karla Rivadeneira also shared opinions about the event. “I think the event was very informative. Some of it was sort of a review of what my guidance counselor told me to do, but it was nice to hear it from the perspective of him. I also learned that some of the schools that I am applying to require the CSS profile, and that was very important to know.”
The Morgan Guidance Department had a positive opinion about the event. Counselor Joni Capobianco stated, “I think the Financial Aid Night was an awesome resource for both students and parents. The financial aid process is such a specific and involved process…I highly recommend even Eliot parents and students to hear the speakers. The earlier you start planning financially for college the better.”
Overall, the presentation was informative to everyone that attended. Many visitors left with more knowledge about financial aid and the college process. Hopefully next year, the Morgan Guidance department will host this event again so it will help the current sophomore class about preparing for college as well.