College Planning

EducationQuest Foundation

College Planning Bulletin

A monthly college planning guide for Nebraska high school students

December 2016

What to expect after you submit your FAFSA

The Early FAFSA opened October 1 so many of you have already completed and submitted your form. Here’s what happens next:

Expect a Student Aid Report (SAR). You’ll receive it via an email link if you provided an email address on your FAFSA. The SAR acknowledges that your FAFSA was received, and if you need to take further action to process your FAFSA.

Make sure you applied for admission to colleges you listed on your FAFSA.

Colleges who receive your FAFSA results typically won’t send you a financial aid package until you’ve applied and have been accepted to the school.

Watch for verification requests. The college(s) you listed on your FAFSA might request verification of your FAFSA information. If so, send the required documents to the colleges’ financial aid office.

Watch for financial aid award notifications. The colleges you applied to – and listed on your FAFSA – will send you a financial aid award notification detailing the types and amounts of aid they’re offering based on your financial need.

Haven’t completed your FAFSA yet?

No problem! You and a parent can complete the form at Before you start, create an FSA ID for you and one for a parent at You’ll need them to access and sign the FAFSA.

For free help with the FAFSA, watch this FAFSA Demo video, use our free FAFSA Tools, or call EducationQuest to make an appointment:

Omaha – 888.357.6300

Lincoln – 800.303.3745

Kearney – 800.666.3721

Scottsbluff – 800.303.3745, ext. 6654

Winning the scholarship game

Follow these tips to increase your chances of earning scholarships:

Don’t ever pay for scholarship searches! Use free resources such as ScholarshipQuest at with over 2,000 Nebraska-based scholarships. Free national sites include Peterson’s, FindTuition, Cappex, and School Soup.

Visit your school counselor often for information about local scholarships.

Focus on local and college-specific scholarships because you're more likely to earn them.

Update your activities, honors, community service or paid jobs using the Activities Resume at

Earn the best possible ACT/SAT scores by taking the exam in the spring of your junior year and again in the fall of your senior year.

Use quality references such as a teacher, coach or counselor. Encourage them to write specific examples of your leadership skills. Give them advance notice and a specific deadline.

Tailor your essay to the scholarship. Ask an English teacher to read your essay and offer advice on making a big impact. Your essay will need to stand out from other applications.

December “To Do” List

Complete these tasks during December to stay on the right college planning track.


__ If you haven’t already, submit college applications and the FAFSA.

__ Continue to apply for scholarships.


__ Take an ACT prep course.

__ Set up a ScholarshipQuest profile and start searching for Nebraska-based scholarships.

__ Register by December 21 for the January 21 SAT.

__ Register by January 13 for the February 11 ACT.

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

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