Mary Help of Christians Academy

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Focus On: The Future

On October 28, 2019, Mr. Ed Zamora, a financial aid advisor from Principia Prep, presented an informational session on “The Financial Aid Game”. During this presentation, the participants were informed as to the ‘good’, the ‘bad’, and the ‘ugly’ when planning for college financing. He explained the difference between ‘gift aid’ and ‘merit aid’. Forms such as the FAFSA, CSS Profile, FERPA, HESAA were discussed and deadlines for completion were provided. Everyone should complete the FAFSA. Questions such as, “What will college really cost my family?”, “Will my family qualify for financial aid?”, and “What are the options for paying for college?” were answered. Fair Test and the College Board ‘Net Price Calculator’ were suggested as resources when determining test-optional universities and helping to determine true school affordability. When determining financial need, you must determine Cost of Attendance (COA) and Expected Family Contributions (EFC). As Mr. Zamora emphasized, “If you don’t ask, you will never know.” when it comes to dealing with financial aid providers. The participants left this presentation with answers to many questions, resources to begin research, and contact information for Mr. Zamora. May 1st is National Deposit Day! We thank Mr. Zamora for his advice and cooperation. We also wish to thank Ms. Van Houten, College Guidance Counselor, for arranging this presentation.