College Planning Bulletin

EducationQuest Foundation

College Planning Bulletin

A monthly college planning guide for Nebraska high school students

September 2016

Seniors…it’s time to prepare for the early FAFSA!

Beginning October 1, you can apply for federal, state and college-based financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is a change from previous years when students had to wait until after January 1 to apply.

Here’s how you can prepare:

Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID for you and one for a parent at You and a parent will each need an FSA ID to access and sign the FAFSA.

Be aware of your college’s FAFSA priority date. Complete your FAFSA before that date as some financial aid is awarded first come, first served. Contact your college’s financial aid office to learn their priority date.

Attend an EducationQuest Financial Aid Program (FAP) to learn about the FAFSA and the financial aid process. If you attend, you’ll be eligible to register for a $500 scholarship! FAPs will be held at high schools across the state. Click here for dates and locations.

See FAFSA Tools at for free tools that will help you prepare. For free personal help, call the EducationQuest location nearest you to make an appointment: Omaha – 888.357.6300, Lincoln – 800.303.3745, Kearney – 800.666.3721, and Scottsbluff – 800.303.3745, ext. 6654.

Attend a College Fair this fall!

This fall, EducationQuest will sponsor five College Fairs across the state.

Before you attend, visit to register for a barcode. Print the barcode and take it to the fair so that college reps can scan it. You should also register for a barcode if you plan to attend an Educational Planning Program (see article below).

2016 College Fairs

Norfolk Area College Fair, Sunday, September 18, 1:00-3:00 p.m. – Northeast Community College

Grand Island Area College Fair, Sunday, September 25, 1:00-3:00 p.m. – Heartland Events Center

Tri-State Area College Fair, Sunday, October 2, 12:30-3:00 p.m. – Marina Center, South Sioux City

Lincoln Area College Fair, Sunday, October 9, 1:00-3:00 p.m. – Southeast Community College

Omaha Area College Fair, Sunday, October 16, 1:00-4:00 p.m. – University of Nebraska at Omaha

For more details and for a list of colleges that will participate in each fair, see the College Fair article at

Meet with college reps at an Educational Planning Program

If you can’t make it to a College Fair, attend an Educational Planning Program (EPP) at an area school. These “mini college fairs” feature state and regional colleges along with college planning information.

If you plan to attend an EPP, visit to register for a barcode. Print the barcode and take it to the event so that college reps can scan it.

Senior students and parents…start preparing for college admission!

Admission deadlines will start hitting later this fall. Follow these steps to stay on track:

1. Contact your top colleges and ask about application deadlines for admission, college-based scholarships and financial aid.

2. Visit with college representatives at College Fairs, Educational Planning Programs, during campus visits, and when they visit your high school.

3. Apply to your top 3-4 colleges before the deadline. Along with your application, the colleges will require your high school transcript, class rank, GPA and ACT/SAT score. They may also request a list of your extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, an essay, and an interview.

4. Ask if your school is holding an Apply2College event this fall. If so, you can complete your college applications during the school day and get help from school, college and community volunteers.

September “To Do” List

Juniors and seniors ... complete these college planning tasks during September:

__ Seniors, create an FSA ID for you and one for a parent at

__ Juniors and seniors, attend a Financial Aid Program.

__ Juniors and seniors, attend a College Fair or Educational Planning Program (EPP) in your area.

__ Before you attend a College Fair or EPP, register for a barcode at

__ Seniors, register by September 1 for the October 1 SAT.

__ Seniors, register by September 16 for October 22 ACT.

__ Juniors, ask your school counselor about PSAT registration deadlines and test dates.

For free help with college planning, contact EducationQuest Foundation:

Omaha Lincoln Kearney Scottsbluff

402-391-4033 402-475-5222 308-234-6310 800-303-3745, ext. 6654

888-357-6300 800-303-3745 800-666-3721 Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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