Advisors Offer FAFSA Help at Brentwood High
A free step-by-step workshop on how to fill out FAFSA forms will be held at Brentwood High School on Thursday.
An upcoming free workshop at Brentwood High School will help seniors and their parents prepare for life after secondary education.
A one-hour session will lead families of college-bound students through the application for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Universities require the form for awarding need-based grants, scholarships and loans.
The informational meeting starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the school library. A representative from Saint Louis University's Student Financial Services department will lead the workshop and take questions.
Ivy Hutchison, Brentwood High School's College and Career Advisor for 12th grade students, coordinated the meeting after being contacted by Kate Goedde, SLU's Coordinator for New Students and Outreach.
"Typically, if this if the first time you've ever looked at a FAFSA form, it can be very complicated," Hutchison said. "It's kind of like doing taxes all over again. It's straightforward in some cases, but it does cause a lot of questions."
Applying for financial aid becomes complicated when parents are not sure what investments should be reported and whether both parents' income counts in the case of a divorce, Hutchison said.
The workshop will guide participants through the application process step-by-step.
"The FAFSA workshop allows people to have the chance to complete the FAFSA application by paper and have all their questions answered about the ins and outs of the materials," Goedde said.
The university offers FAFSA demonstrations throughout the year at high schools, churches and on the SLU campus, Goedde said.
After the initial presentation, Goedde works with families one-on-one.
"Each family comes with their own scenario or situation," she said.
Goedde also hopes to dispel common misperceptions about college financial aid.
"I think many families are hesitant to file the form because they fall into an economic group that's right in the middle," she said. "We recommend them filing the FAFSA to make sure they're getting all forms of aid."
Hutchison plans on holding another informational session later this semester.
"It's my goal to be able to host something in the spring for parents of sophomores and juniors to introduce them to the college application process," she said.
The meeting would help high school students prepare to apply for colleges, write application essays and obtain letters of recommendation.