Why Graduation Rate Matters

The graduation rate of the college you are thinking of attending is an important factor. It can tell you a lot about the value of education at the college. 

A low graduation rate can indicate several reasons why the college may not be the best fit for you. Some reasons include a lack of student support services or guidance and a tendency to have students take more remedial courses. Make sure you do a bit of research before you commit! 

 

To learn more about why graduation rate matters, download this guide Why Graduation Rates Matter. Guide provided by DecidED 

 

CSS Profile information

CSS Profile information

The CSS Profile (College Scholarship Service Profile) is an additional financial aid form required by a large number of private colleges and a few public institutions. The CSS Profile utilizes a separate, more comprehensive formula called Institutional Methodology (IM), compared to the one used for the FAFSA. IM aims at providing a more expansive look at the family’s financial situation compared to what the FAFSA offers. Colleges utilize this methodology to determine eligibility for institutional funds only (not federal or state). 

The Profile is not free: There is a $9 registration fee and an additional $16 for each school requiring it. There are unlimited fee waivers! But these are not paper fee waivers, nor are they fee waivers in which counselors and advisors have a set amount to distribute. Rather, the student will find out whether or not they are eligible for the fee waivers after they have completed the CSS Profile, based upon income and other factors reported on the form. If students are eligible they are automatically provided the fee waivers at the time of submission. 

Similar to the FAFSA, the CSS Profile goes live on October 1 of each year. Deadlines may vary based on the school and by the way you are applying: Regular Decision, Early Action, or Early Decision. 

Important links and resources

  • The application can be found at https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/
  • To find the full list of colleges that require this additional form click this link.
  • A helpful uAspire checklist of information necessary to complete the CSS Profile can be found here.

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All About the FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID)

All About the FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID)

The FSA (Federal Student Aid ID) is a self-selected username and password that is an important first step of the federal financial aid process. The FSA ID serves as a legal signature in order to submit the FAFSA. Both the student and one parent (dependent students only) will need to create unique and separate FSA IDs.  In a two-parent household, only one parent needs to create an FSA ID. It is recommended that the FSA IDs are created prior to completing the FAFSA.

If a student is not eligible to fill out the FAFSA and will instead be filling out the California Dream Act Application, the student will not be creating an FSA ID. Note that if a parent does not have a social security number they will not be able to create an FSA ID, but can still sign the FAFSA via a printed signature page if the student is eligible to complete the FAFSA. 

When registering for the FSA ID there will be a series of questions about the student in terms of basic information like address, etc.  Each user will need to select 4 security questions from the drop-down menu and enter answers for them. These security questions will be asked if the user forgets their username or password. In addition, you can use your phone number and/or email for text/email password recovery. A user can retrieve their username or reset their password, either by correctly answering the challenge questions or by having a secure code texted to the cell phone or sent to the email address if they completed the email and/or phone verification steps. If the user uses the challenge question option to reset the password, they will have to wait 30 minutes before they can use their new password.

The FSA ID can be edited and updated as needed and as personal information changes such as an email address. To make changes to the information, the user can go to fsaid.ed.gov and select the “Edit My FSA ID”. Passwords need to be changed every 18 months. 

The FSA ID can be a tricky part of the process, especially if there are problems with users forgetting usernames and passwords. If the user gets stuck they can call the FSA ID help center at 1-800-433-3243.

Important links and resources

  • To create an FSA ID click this link: www.studentaid.gov and click on “create account”
  • For more information about how to register for an FSA ID, students and families can view this video from Federal Student Aid here.

 

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Undocu-Immigrant Mental Health Grounding & Self-Care Toolkit

Undocu-Immigrant Mental Health Grounding & Self-Care Toolkit

2021 is here! Although it is a new year, 2020 left behind a lot of stress, anxiety, and anguish. If you could use some self-care and grounding tips, stick around because we got you covered! Immigrants Rising has come up with a grounding and self-care toolkit to get you started on your healing journey! 

Practical Ways to Decrease Stress & Anxiety in Any Situation: 

Mindfulness & Meditation 

Meditation reduces stress and anxiety, develops awareness of the breath and body, and helps the mind focus on the present moment. 

Grounding 

Grounding is a quick and effective way to reduce the intensity of emotions and anxiety. Use your five senses to soothe and reset your nervous system: Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, and Touch.

Breathing Exercises 

Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of physical and emotional calmness/soothness. Check out Breathing Bubble, a guided breathing exercise.

In the mood for writing? Learn about your triggers and write down what they look and feel like. Next, begin journaling and thinking about what you need right now.
For the full PDF toolkit, click here.

5 Scholarships for Undocumented Students: Due Dec. 2020 & Jan. 2021

5 Scholarships for Undocumented Students: Due Dec. 2020 & Jan. 2021

Has your financial aid been impacted due to the challenges that COVID-19 has presented? Same here! Paying for our education is a challenge. Especially when it comes to navigating scholarships and loans. If your financial aid has been impacted and you are finding ways to pay for your education, check out these 5 scholarships below! Good Luck!

5 Scholarships for Undocumented Students 

  1. Women in STEM Scholarship
    • Deadline: December 31, 2020
    • Academic Level: Any
    • Eligibility: Female international students who can legally study in the U.S. or Canada (U.S. permanent resident, DACA, or valid student visa).  Applicant must be accepted at or enrolled in, a full-time STEM degree program at a U.S. or Canadian school.
    • Region: National
    • Field of Study: STEM
    • To Apply: https://www.mpowerfinancing.com/scholarships/women-in-stem/
  2. Jackie Kent Cooke Foundation 
  3. Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics Essay Contest
    • Deadline: January 21, 2021
    • Academic Level: Any
    • Eligibility: Registered undergraduate full-time Juniors or Seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the Fall 2020 Semester, non-DACA eligible.
    • Region: California
    • Field of Study: Any
    • To Apply: https://eliewieselfoundation.org/prize-ethics/contest/
  4. eQuality Scholarship
    • Deadline: January 31, 2021
    • Academic Level: High School Senior, Community College Transfers, Medical Students
    • Eligibility: Must have demonstrated service to the LGBT+ community. Applicants of all sexual orientations and gender identities are eligible. Eligible for non-DACA students. Check the website for full details.
    • Region: California
    • Field of Study: Any and Medical
    • To Apply: https://www.equalityscholarship.org/apply.html
  5. California Strawberry Scholarships
    • Deadline: February 1, 2021
    • Academic Level: Full-time enrollment in a trade school, community college, four-year university, or graduate/professional program during the period for which scholarship is requested.
    • Eligibility: First-time applicants must have a parent that is currently employed as a California strawberry fieldworker for the current and prior two harvest seasons. (Applicants may also qualify if they are employed as a California strawberry fieldworker). Maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or greater.
    • Region: National
    • Field of Study: Any
    • To Apply: https://www.calstrawberry.com/en-us/Scholarships

For Spanish Translation, click here.