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

Finals Week Activities and Services

We know finals can be really stressful. We’re here to help you make it through with your sanity and a decent grade. We’ve gathered all of our activities and services available into one place for your convenience.

Littleton Campus

Library & Learning Commons

Therapy Dogs - October 2015

De-stressing with the Therapy Dogs in the ACC Library & Learning Commons

  • December 7, 8, 9, & 10, the Library & Learning Commons will be offering “study snacks” throughout the morning and evening.
  • December 7, 8, 9, & 10, the Library & Learning Commons will remain open until 10 p.m. for you night owls.
  • CANCELLED: December 9th, the stress-relief therapy dogs will be here from noon to 2:00 p.m.

Student Success Center

Peer Tutors are here to help with final exams, papers, and projects up until Dec 15. Drop-in hours are Mondays – Wednesdays 10 am – 6 pm, Thursdays 10 am – 5 pm. Other days/times may be arranged for appointments by calling 303-797-5824.

Math Support Center

Extended hours: December 4 and 11 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Student Life

Soup & Stress Relief

Soup and Stress Relief

Soup and Stress Relief

Dec. 8 and 9 at 11 a.m.
Second Floor Atrium 
Don’t take finals on an empty stomach…let ACC do the cooking. Enjoy complimentary soup, salad and bread beginning at 11:00 a.m. both days in the Second Floor Atrium.

PJs With Santa

December 11 at 6 p.m. in the Summit Room

Enjoy an evening of holiday cheer with dinner, dessert and storytelling.  Festivities will include fun and games for children, as well as a special appearance by Santa Claus himself.

Admission is $3 for kids and $4 for adults.  Please purchase tickets in advance at the Student Life Office (Room M2820).

ACC Parker Campus

December 7-15
Finals Week Coffee Bar

The semester is wrapping up. Free coffee tea and snacks will be available for during finals week. Refuel and warm up before or after your big test! You are going to do great!

ACC Castle Rock Campus

December 7-15
Free coffee, tea and hot chocolate bar and snacks will be available finals week. Refuel and warm up before or after your big test!

Honoring Those Who Returned and Those Who Sacrificed All This Veterans Day

Military Grave at Fort Logan National Cemetery

photo by Josie Mills

As a person who has never experienced the loss of a loved one through service to their country, it is something that I watch from my bird’s eye view as a funeral director and witness the ocean of emotion and tears that comes from the grief of losing a son, daughter, husband, or wife. Many times I have pondered that although those families are burying one loved one, the service members are burying friend after friend after friend.

The only analogy that I can come up with is imagining arriving at the college and hearing that a student, staff member, or faculty died last night, and multiplying that scenario over and over again. My heart breaks for the soldiers who continue to serve our country day after day in spite of their grief. Grief that they can’t fully process because if they stop long to think about the loss it may be overwhelmingly paralyzing. It is with gratitude to those who serve that we acknowledge them on Veterans Day.

An online search for grief and support for military families includes a plethora of resources for widows, including www.militarywidows.org, and Young Widows or Widowers; and for parents, children, and siblings, at www.va.gov. This is just a sampling, there’s plenty more out there. But what I had the hardest time finding is who is taking care of the grief of the soldier who came home alive when some of his friends didn’t. The most comprehensive site I found is TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. They offer a myriad of service member support programs including: Peer Support, Grief Support, Trauma Support, Suicide Support, and Vet Center Counseling, just to name a few.

So when thanking a Veteran for their service this Veterans Day, remember to take a moment to remember all of those who have served, including those who died in service to our country and those they left behind.

by Martha Thayer, ACC Mortuary Science Department Chair