Travel Documents for the College Journey
When traveling, it is necessary to have identification with you. What you need depends on where you are going. To travel abroad you must have a Passport. To travel across the states by airplane a driver’s license or ID card is required.
Your college journey is a lot like any other journey. You are going from point A to point B, and certain documents are necessary for this journey.
All colleges require documents. As you begin your journey you will begin to collect the necessary documents you need to get to the college you choose. Start big! Choose 6-8 schools to consider and narrow your choices as you go.
Almost all colleges require one of these documents, so don’t collect this document at the last minute. Give yourself time to prepare, take, and retake the test as many times as you want to get a document that identifies your academic abilities well.
You should include a personal resume’ that outlines and highlights your personal, academic, and athletic awards and activities. This is another opportunity to tell YOUR story and make your application stand out. Colleges want a well--rounded freshman class. As a result, they need to have students with varied backgrounds who can bring unique talents and interests to their community.
- Link to Checklist Document
- The Counselor Statement or Recommendation--Some colleges will require the college counselor to fill out a statement or recommendation form. If this is the case, make sure you give me the form in plenty of time to meet the deadline.
- The Teacher Recommendations--Some colleges will require one or more teacher recommendations. In some cases they will request specific teachers. In others, you will be allowed to select the teachers. Whichever the case, make sure you ask your teacher ahead of time, and give him/her plenty of time to complete the recommendation.
There are three types of applications you can choose from:
Hard Copy Application- -This is the traditional paper application that is included in all admissions packets.
You can request one by contacting the college directly. Also, some colleges will have one you can download from their web site. If you are requesting one by mail, please make sure you give yourself plenty of time in regards to application deadlines--snail mail can be slow.
- Online Application - In today’s technological world, most universities will have the option of applying online. Simply visit the school’s web site, and look for the “Admissions” or “Application” link.
- Common Application - The Common Application is a single application that can be used at more than 250 colleges (mostly private, but a few public). These institutions have agreed to give equal consideration to students who apply using this application. For more information, visit www.commonapp.org.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the federal form that everyone needs to submit. All lenders of federal and state moneys – federal Title IV student aid, Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, college Work-Study, and Perkins Loans – require you to complete the FAFSA.
- The PROFILE Form is the form that several hundred schools and scholarship programs require from the College Scholarship Service (CSS). For more information, visit collegeboard.com.
- The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) is a comprehensive program of state scholarships offered to Louisiana high school graduates to attend Louisiana colleges and universities. The awards are based on high school performance and standardized test scores, and can cover tuition and certain fees. For more specific information on awards and requirements, visit osfa.state.la.us.
Applying for TOPS
You should complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov or the TOPS on-line application at osfa.la.gov. The FAFSA must be completed if you qualify for federal aid and if you are seeking other forms of financial aid. The TOPS on-line application may only be completed if you can certify that you do not qualify for federal grant aid. You must apply not later than July 1 of your graduating year in order to receive your award for the upcoming fall semester.