Iowa College Aid Insider: Succeeding in College and Career (Oct. 2017)
The FAFSA looks a little different
Remember that you must file a new FAFSA for every year you plan to be in a college—your eligibility for federal grants, federal work-study programs, federal loans and many forms of state and school-based aid will not carry over from year to year unless you file annually. The window to file for 2018-19 opened this week, and if you’ve filed before, you’ll notice a few differences. Here’s what’s new:
- The Data Retrieval Tool, or DRT, still lets you pull 2016 tax information directly into your 2018-19 FAFSA.
- However, after a breach earlier this year, DRT security has been upgraded this cycle.
- Your IRS data will now be encrypted and hidden from your on-screen view.
- You’ll see the words “Transferred from the IRS” instead of your personal information.
Ways to get involved on campus
Extracurricular activities are a great way to meet people when you start college. Participating has been tied to higher GPAs, higher graduation rates and higher salaries after graduation. There’s no shortage of opportunities. Iowa State University, for instance, has more than 850 student organizations. Wherever you go to college, here are some possible ways to get involved:
- Academic organizations can help you network with students and faculty within your major or explore areas of interest outside your major.
- Musical and theater groups let you exercise your creative muscles.
- Student government gives you a voice in the way your campus is run.
- Community service and activism will connect you with people looking to help the world around them.
- Intramural sports make you part of a team and help you stay physically fit.
- School newspapers, magazines and broadcast stations give you real-world media experience.
- Informal study groups help you get to know other students in your classes and improve your academic performance.
- Have an unusual interest? Start a club! Most colleges have a standard application to get you going. Check with the student activities office.
Sign up for free texting tool
Up Next is a free texting tool that can help you reach college graduation and pay off your loans. If you are a current college student and would like help graduating, text your first and last names to (240) 623-2789. If you would like advice about paying off federal student loans, text your first and last names to (415) 908 -1869. Up Next is provided by the nonprofit Better Make Room.