October is College Application Month

students at Discover ACC spring 2018October is College Application Month, and Arapahoe Community College is ready to help you Move Mountains every step of the way.

No matter where you may wish to pursue your higher education, you’ll want to begin by completing your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be eligible for grants, work study, student loans and other financial aid programs.

Did you know that ACC helps any college-bound student with the FAFSA? We host FAFSA labs for students and their parents all the time…for free! Students who complete their FAFSA by November 9, 2018, may even be eligible for a College Application Month scholarship giveaway.

If you’re applying to a two-year or four-year school in Colorado, visit the College and University Checklist and Application Link webpage. Find your institution and click Application Info. This will direct you to each institution’s application page. If you’re applying to several schools, consider filling out the Common Application, which is accepted at colleges and universities all over the country.

Navigating career options can seem overwhelming, but with the help of the College in Colorado Career Cluster Survey, you can begin aligning your interests with our guided pathways, and you’ll be well on your way to developing your plan for success.

Think you’ve identified a possible career path? Now’s the time to figure out what kind of education or training you’ll need. Keep in mind that the ACC Castle Rock Collaboration Campus is scheduled to open next fall, providing a seamless pathway from high school diploma to associate degree to bachelor’s degree, all under one roof!

Looking for a great way to familiarize yourself with all of the student resources at ACC? Mark your calendars for Friday, Oct. 19, and join us for Discover ACC! from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Littleton Campus. Our ACC Admissions team and student ambassadors will be on hand to talk about transitioning to college, financial aid, degree pathways and much more.

ACC will also visit dozens of local high schools throughout October, and for the fifth consecutive year, we’ll have representatives at Denver Public Schools’ College Application Day. As many as 1,200 DPS students will be in attendance, many of whom hope to become the first in their immediate & extended families to attend college.

Additionally, Tuesday, Oct. 30, is Colorado Free Application Day. The ACC Career & Transfer Center is hosting a pizza party at the Littleton Campus that day, and several in-state universities will be on hand to meet with students about degrees and transfer options.

Questions? Connect with ACC today at 303.797.5637 or admissions@arapahoe.edu. Our friendly, helpful staff will be glad to assist you.

by Jeff Duggan, ACC Communications Coordinator

Financial Aid – Types of Aid and Deadlines

2017 ACC scholarship luncheon - recipients and staffDo you need help paying for college? Did you know that there in financial aid available from the government and from ACC that can help you with those college costs, such as: tuition and fees, books, supplies, and living expenses?

Your first step to getting funding for college is to apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Make sure you have this completed by March 1, 2018 to get priority on aid and scholarships!

If you aren’t sure what this is or how to apply, take advantage of our free FAFSA labs every Monday from 1-6pm at our Littleton campus. These are open to anyone (not just ACC students). Our experts will help walk you through the process of applying for financial aid and make it a little less intimidating.

You’ll need a few items to be able to complete it:

  • Driver’s license number
  • Social Security Number or Alien Registration Number
  • Federal tax returns from 2016
  • W-2s and any other records of money earned such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits
  • Bank statements and records of investments such as stocks, bonds, 529 plans, and investment homes
  • Records of untaxed income (workers compensation and disability benefits)
  • FSA ID if you have already created one
  • If you are a dependent, you’ll need your parents’ information.

There a several different types of aid you could be awarded:

  • Grants – this includes both federal and state grants. These are gifts and do not need to be repaid.
  • Scholarships – this type of aid comes from donors and companies hoping to help you achieve your goals. Scholarships don’t have to be repaid either! Apply for numerous ACC scholarships and private scholarships that you may qualify for. It takes some research, but it will be wealth worth the extra money to help you pay for school. ACC priority deadline for scholarships is March 1!
  • Student Loans – loans can help you pay for college, but don’t forget they have to be paid back, plus interest.
  • Work Study – work study gives you the chance to work on-campus for up to 20 hours a week. Build your resume and earn money for school at the same time.
  • Veteran’s Benefits – ACC is a certified Military Friendly School and will work with you to get the benefits you have earned from your time in the military.

Why Should You Apply for Financial Aid?

While not everyone qualifies for grant aid, many people do receive an award of some kind to help them pay for their college expenses. Whether you think you will qualify or not, it is a great idea to spend the hour or less it takes to complete your FAFSA.

Completing your FAFSA is also the first step to many scholarship applications. Many scholarships require a FAFSA. This includes many ACC scholarships. Don’t worry, even if you don’t qualify for grant aid, you may still qualify for scholarships. There is a wide variety of options available based on need, area of interest, ability, past school performance, essay-writing and more. Don’t count yourself out before you try.

You can apply for many of our ACC scholarships with just one application. Some may require additional information or essays, but getting started is easy with our online application. In general, you will only receive one scholarship from our ACC scholarships, so review them thoroughly and see what might be right for you. And if you have questions, talk to our Financial Aid Office and they can help you through the process.

That being said, it is important for you to research what other scholarships are out there. We offer a list of private scholarships as well as reputable resources for finding more that may better suit your situation and offer you additional funding.

Do not forget to take advantage of the Essay Writing Workshop on February 19 and 20 in the Library Learning Commons on the Littleton Campus.

Ready to Move Mountains?

Complete your FAFSA and ACC scholarship application by March 1! If you get overwhelmed or confused, our Financial Aid Advisors are here to help you! Contact them at 303.797.5661, finaid@arapahoe.edu or stop by M2330 at the ACC Littleton campus. Get the most money for your education by turning everything in for the priority deadline. You can do this and we’re here to help!

How to Understand and Use Your Financial Aid at ACC

Student getting assistance from ACC's Financial Aid officeWe all know Financial Aid can be a little tricky to navigate sometimes, but we’re here to help take some of the mystery out of it for you and guide you through the basic steps to applying for aid, finding out what aid you’ve been awarded and accepting and using your awarded aid.

You can also download our Financial Aid Application Checklist.

Applying

If you haven’t already, complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll need your tax documentation from the past two years and ACC’s school code: 001346. You (and/or your parent(s)) will also need to create a FSA ID if you haven’t already.

Once you’ve turned in all necessary documentation, it can take up to 2 weeks to verify everything and send you your award offer.

Want some extra tips? View ACC’s Applying for Financial Aid page or come to one of our FAFSA Labs and get help from our experts.

Scholarships

Looking for more opportunities to find help with college tuition? Head over to arapahoe.edu/scholarships to view our ACC scholarships and some private scholarships that might fit your needs. You can also search online, but remember, you should never have to pay to apply for a scholarship and check that it is a reputable site.

Financial Aid Awards – viewing and accepting

We’ll send an award offer to your student email (your @student.cccs.edu). You can (and absolutely should) check your myACC account (sometimes referred to as the portal or student portal) to view your awards as well.

Login to myACC. If you haven’t before and need help, view our how-to guide. Next, go to the Student Finance page. On the right side of the page, you’ll be able to view what you have been awarded, including scholarships, work study aid, grants, veteran’s benefits, and loans. You can view your award status, current and past aid awards, aid requirements, holds, and payment schedules.

You’ll also find additional information, like forms you may need, scholarship websites, types of financial aid, and the federal shopping sheet.

*Remember, to use your financial aid, your classes must be required or an approved elective for your declared major.

Once you have reviewed your rewards, we recommend (strongly) that you take a look at your tuition bill (on the left side of the page) and do some quick math to see what portion of your bill your awards will cover. (Don’t forget to include book cost estimates in this calculation.) This is a good way to know if you should look into accepting loans or can cover the remainder without them.

Now that you have an idea what the cost will be to you and what aid you need, you can accept the awards you want within the same Student Finance page on myACC under “My Financial Aid Information”.

Still need help?

We’ve got you covered. We have financial aid advisors that can help you with any additional questions you might have. Call us, email us or come in and see us at:

Financial Aid Office
Room M2330 (Littleton campus)
303.797.5661
finaid@arapahoe.edu

Our regular hours (excluding holidays and breaks) are:

Monday – Tuesday:
8am – 6pm
(located at Information Central from 5-6pm)

Wednesday – Thursday:
8am – 5pm

Friday:
10am – 5pm

Fall Semester Special Schedule (August 14-18 and August 21-25) – 2nd Floor Student Lounge

Monday – Thursday:
9am – noon and 1-6pm

Friday:
9am – noon and 1-5pm

Arapahoe Community College will host Start Now! enrollment expo on July 22

Start Now Orientation 2017Arapahoe Community College will offer an opportunity for anyone to begin the process of enrolling in Fall 2017 classes with its Start Now! orientation and registration event on Saturday, July 22, from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Littleton and Parker campuses.

Start Now! will provide all students who have applied to ACC – but are not yet registered – with the opportunity to complete new student orientation and free English/math assessment testing while receiving assistance with career/academic advising, financial aid and registration during this one-day session. Refreshments will be available.

The event will include tours of the College, and staff will be on hand to help answer any questions you may have about ACC’s programs, beginning your college career, and paying for college. Please bring your 2015 tax forms if you are interested in free assistance with completing the FAFSA.

Nursing simulation activityAttendees at the Parker campus – where students can now complete their Associate of Arts / Associate of Science degrees in their entirety – can tour the newly-remodeled science labs and classrooms designed to maximize experiential and collaborative learning. Parker-area students can now study natural sciences, math, health, and computer science closer to home.

At ACC, we offer both quality and value. ACC has nearly 100 associate degree and certificate programs, and credits are guaranteed to transfer into Colorado’s four-year public institutions. Our instructors are experts in their field, and classes are available both online and at our campuses in Littleton, Parker and Castle Rock.

RSVP now for Start Now! at Littleton or Parker. Don’t forget to have test scores and/or high school transcripts ready when you RSVP. For more information about Start Now!, or to apply for admission to ACC, please contact Student Recruitment and Outreach at acc.info@arapahoe.edu or 303.797.5637.

ACC offers 
FAFSA assistance for all college-bound students


Students at ACC studying
Arapahoe Community College is proud to announce that it will host FAFSA Labs (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) every Monday from 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. throughout the fall semester.

ACC is making its FAFSA Labs available to all college-bound students, not just those who plan to attend ACC. The FAFSA process has recently changed, and students seeking to secure financial aid for the 2017-18 academic year may now submit their FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016. This streamlined process will allow students and their families to report income and tax information from the 2015 tax year.

“Students can now begin the process earlier, which is advantageous for first-come, first-served financial aid deadlines,” said Heidi Markey, Director of Financial Aid at ACC. “In the past, students were not able to complete the FAFSA until Jan. 1, which meant that most financial aid awards were based on estimated income information. Using income information from the previous tax year will help our office deliver more accurate and timely financial aid awards.”

Schedule a FAFSA Lab appointment online, or drop by the Littleton Campus on a Monday afternoon that fits your schedule.

The ACC Littleton Campus will also host College Goal Sunday on Nov. 13. We’ll have staff on hand from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. who can assist you with completing the FAFSA or answer any questions you may have about financial aid and paying for college.

“Because the FAFSA is now available earlier, students should feel less pressure because they will have additional time to explore – and apply for – financial aid,” explained Markey. “We encourage all college-bound students to take advantage of ACC’s FAFSA Labs, or visit us at the Littleton Campus on College Goal Sunday. We will be happy to guide you through the process.”

At ACC, we offer both quality and value.  ACC has more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as guaranteed transfer programs into many of Colorado’s four-year public institutions. Our instructors are experts in their field, and classes are available both online and at our campuses in Littleton, Parker and Castle Rock. You can achieve your academic and career goals, and ACC can help you every step of the way.

Contact the ACC Financial Aid Office at 303.797.5661 or finaid@arapahoe.edu for any questions you may have about the FAFSA.  Together…we can Move Mountains in helping students and their families apply for financial aid.

by Jeff Duggan, ACC Communications Coordinator

Start Now! Enrollment Expo on June 4

ACC Student Life Assistant Director Jennifer Husum assisting a student

ACC Student Life Assistant Director Jennifer Husum assisting a student

Will you be starting at Arapahoe Community College in Fall 2016? We have a great opportunity for you to begin the process of enrolling in Fall 2016 classes with our Start Now! student services and enrollment session on June 4 at the Littleton and Castle Rock campuses.

If you are a prospective and currently-applied – but not enrolled – student, Start Now! will give you the opportunity to complete new student orientation and testing while receiving assistance with advising, financial aid and registration during this one-day session. If you sign up to take the college placement test during the Start! Now June 4 event prior to June 1, your test will be FREE!

Start Now! will run from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., will include regular tours of the College, and staff will be on hand to help answer any questions you may have about ACC’s programs, beginning your college career, financial aid or payment plans. Please bring your 2015 tax forms if you are interested in free assistance with completing the FAFSA. Refreshments will be available.

At ACC, we offer both quality and value.  ACC has nearly 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as guaranteed transfer programs into many of Colorado’s four-year public institutions. Our instructors are experts in their field, and classes are available both online and at our campuses in Littleton, Parker and Castle Rock.

For more information and to register for new student orientation and/or testing, please visit our Start Now! page or contact the Student Recruitment and Outreach Office at acc.info@arapahoe.edu / 303.797.5637.

by ACC Marketing

Financial Aid Tips – FAFSA and Scholarships

It’s January, which means that it’s time to start applying for financial aid for the 2016-2017 academic year! Where do you start? There are two primary applications:

  1. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. The Scholarship Application.

FAFSA

The FAFSA, which is the application used to determine your eligibility for most financial aid, can be completed at www.fafsa.gov. This aid can include grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. To ensure that your FAFSA is sent to ACC, enter our school code when prompted: 001346. Only one FAFSA is required each academic year.

Helpful Tips When Completing the FAFSA

FSA ID: New applicants should create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. This ID will be used to sign your FAFSA and log-in to all federal student aid websites. It will also give you access to many helpful resources and services throughout your educational career.

  • Returning applicants who lost/forgot their FSA ID can reestablish it at the same website.
  • Parents of dependent students will need to obtain their own FSA ID.

Tax Information: All applicants should attempt to use the DRT, which is a tool within the FAFSA that automatically transfers the applicant’s (and parents’) tax information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA. Some applicants are not eligible to use the DRT, in which case they should have available copies of the most-recent federal tax return. Dependent students should also have a copy of their parents’ federal tax return.

Scholarships

Scholarships available

ACC has dozens of scholarships available for a variety of types of students. In addition to scholarships that are offered through ACC and the ACC Foundation, there are countless scholarship opportunities through private organizations and foundations.

How to apply

Go to the ACC Scholarships page and follow the application directions at the top of the page. Scholarship applications are typically open from early-January through May 15, with the priority going to those completed by April 1.

Scholarships will be awarded for the Fall and Spring semesters immediately following the application period. Each scholarship has different application requirements that must be met before the applicant can be considered for an award.

How to maintain eligibility

Some ACC Scholarships are automatically renewable for either 2 or 3 consecutive years, while some require an annual application. Most require at least a 67% course completion rate (pass at least 67% of the courses attempted) and a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA), although requirements may differ per scholarship.

Things to Remember

Take the time needed to ensure that you complete every application requirement. Many applications require personal statements, copies of transcripts, resumes, and/or reference letters. Make every effort to have a strong personal statement that speaks to who you are as a student.

Other Resources

Our Scholarships page also contains resources for scholarship search engines and other outside scholarships. Applications can sometimes be tedious and time-consuming, but persistence is often all that it takes to help make college more affordable. Start now!

by Joel Laos, Director of Financial Aid