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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Aid

  1. What is Financial Aid?
  2. What are the different types of financial aid?
  3. How do I apply for financial aid ?
  4. When do I apply for financial aid?
  5. What information do I need to have to complete the FAFSA application?
  6. What is a scholarship?
  7. How do I look for a scholarship?
  8. Do you have any scholarship tips that might help me obtain scholarships funds?
  1. What is Financial Aid?
    Financial aid is funds provided to students and families to help pay for postsecondary educational expenses.

  2. What are the different types of financial aid?

    Grant: Grants are available through the federal government, state agencies, colleges, and universities Scholarships: Funds used to pay for higher education that does not have to be repaid.

    Federal Work-Study Program (FWS): A program that provides part-time jobs to undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

    Stafford Loan- are federal student loans made available to college and university students to help pay for your educational cost. (This is a loan and has to be repaid)

  3. How do I apply for financial aid ?

    To apply for  financial aid, you have to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on-line.

    The website is: www.fafsa.ed.gov.

     

  4. When do I apply for financial aid?

    You should apply for financial aid anytime after January 1.

    Most colleges and universities have their own deadline so please contact the financial aid office for their deadline.

    Financial Aid is usually given out on a first come and first serve basis.!

  5. What information do I need to have to complete the FAFSA application?

    To complete the FAFSA application you must have the following information:

    Social Security Number/ Alien Registration Number

    Driver’s License Number

    W-2 Forms of all jobs you and your parents worked or

    o  Federal Tax Return for you and your parent, if you filed

    Record of Untaxed Income (i.e. TANF, Social Security, Welfare  or Veterans Benefits)

    PIN Number to sign electronically - You can obtain a PIN number at www.pin.ed.gov for both the student and the parent.

     

  6. What is a scholarship?
    Scholarships: are often awarded on criteria such as academics, achievements, hobbies, talents, group affiliations, or career aspirations.
  7. How do I look for a scholarship?

    There are many ways that you can look for scholarships. You could

    • Look in the scholarships handbooks
    • You could ask around to see if any of your friends, family and co-workers know about any scholarship opportunities
    • you could individually search of all of the scholarships on the internet

    or you could use the following scholarships search engines

    • www.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/scholarships
    • www.educationplanner.com
    • www.fastweb.com
  8. Do you have any scholarship tips that might help me obtain scholarships funds?

    Tip 1:  Give concrete examples.

    If your answer to an essay question is abstract, support it with a concrete example that illustrates your point.  The scholarship sponsor wants to see evidence that you satisfy their criteria, not just unsupported statements.

    Tip 2:  Apply only if you are eligible.

    Read all the scholarship requirements and directions carefully, and make sure that you are eligible before you send in your application.  Your application will not be considered if you are not qualified to apply.

    Tip 3:  Identify the sponsor's goals.

    Try to understand the sponsor's motivation in offering the award.  Do they want to promote interest in their field?  Do they want to identify promising future researchers and business leaders?  If you can identify their goals, you can direct your application toward satisfying those goals, increasing your chances of winning the award.

    Tip 4:  Complete the application in full and follow directions.

    Many students fail to follow directions.  You can give yourself a competitive advantage by reading the directions carefully.

    Provide everything that is required.  But do not supply things that are not requested.  You will not impress and you might be disqualified.

    Be sure to complete the entire application.  If a question does not apply, note that on the application.  Do not just leave it blank.

    Tip 5:  Neatness counts.

    Make several photocopies of all the forms you receive.  Use the copies as working drafts as you develop your application packet.

    It is always best to type the application.  If you must print, do so neatly and legibly.

    Proofread the entire application carefully.  Nothing is less impressive than an application with misspelled words or grammar errors.  Ask a friend, teacher or parent to proofread it as well.

    Tip 6:  Write an accomplishments resume.

    Compile a list of all your accomplishments.  This will help you identify your strengths and prepare a better application.

    Give a copy of the resume to the people who are writing letters of recommendation for you.  They will be able to work some of the tidbits into their letters, making it seem like they know you better.

    Tip 7:  Watch all deadlines.

    Impose a deadline for yourself that is at least two weeks before the stated deadline.  Use this 'buffer time' to proofread your application before you send it off.

    YOU are responsible for making sure all parts of the application arrive on time.  This includes supporting materials, such as letters of recommendation and transcripts.  So make sure everyone who is contributing to your application has ample lead-time.

    If worse comes to worst, call the scholarship provider in advance and ask if it is possible to receive an extension.  Do not just send the materials in late; many committees will refuse late applications.  But do not rely on extensions - very few scholarship providers allow them at all.

    Tip 8:  Take steps to make sure your application gets where it needs to go.

    Before sending the application, make a copy of the entire packet and keep it on file. If your application goes astray, you can always reproduce it quickly.

    Make sure your name (and social security number, if applicable) appears on all pages of the application.  Pieces of your application may get lost unless they are clearly identified.

    Tip 9:  Ask for help if you need it.

    If you have problems with the application, do not hesitate to call the sponsor.  But do not expect anyone to do the work for you.  Completing the application is your job. 

    Tip 10:  Remember - your scholarship application represents YOU!

    Your ability to submit a neat, timely, complete application reflects on you.  It is the face you present to the sponsoring organization.  Take pride in yourself by submitting the best application you can.

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    http://www.iusb.edu/~scholar1/scholarlist.shtml

     

     

     

Dual Enrollment

  1. What is a Dual Enrollment Course?
  2. Must students reapply for courses each semester?
  3. May students enroll in more than one course per semester?
  4. Who pays for the Dual Enrollment courses?
  5. Who pays for transportation?
  6. When do Dual Enrollment courses meet?
  7. Will I take classes with college students?
  8. Are Dual Enrollment courses the same courses that other college students take?
  9. What happens if a student fails a Dual Enrollment course?
  1. What is a Dual Enrollment Course?

    A Dual Enrollment course is a college level course that is offered by a post secondary partner. Students can earn both college credits and a high school credit toward graduation.

    Please click on the link below for more information:

    http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/c/ccawareness/programs--services/dual-enrollment2

     

  2. Must students reapply for courses each semester?

    To reapply at the same college or university:

    • Student must contact the college/university coordinator
    • Student must have successfully completed the previous course.

    To apply to a different college or University:

    • Student must apply through their high school counselor or Dual Enrollment Point Person.

    Please click on the link below for more information:

     http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/c/ccawareness/programs--services/dual-enrollment2

  3. May students enroll in more than one course per semester?
    • Initially, students may take one course.
    • Returning students may be offered the opportunity to take up to three courses per semester pending the approval of the college/university coordinator, Office of Accelerated Learning and the recommendation of the high school counselor.
    • Multiple course offerings are contingent on the availability of funding and cannot adversely affect equitable opportunities for other students to take courses.
    • A student may not enroll in more than 24 post-secondary credits in any school year including summers.

    Please click on the link below for more information:

    http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/c/ccawareness/programs--services/dual-enrollment2

  4. Who pays for the Dual Enrollment courses?

    Students and their familes assume and pay for tuition, books and any fees associated with the course. 

    Please click on the link below for more information:

    http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/c/ccawareness/programs--services/dual-enrollment2

  5. Who pays for transportation?

    Students and their families are responsible for the cost of transportation to/from the university she/he is attending. Eligible students are issued free SEPTA transpasses at their home high school for use between the hours of 6:00 am-7:00 pm, Monday-Friday, when school is in session. Otherwise, students are responsible for transportation after 7:00 pm, Monday-Friday, and weekends.

    Please click on the link below for more information:

    http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/c/ccawareness/programs--services/dual-enrollment2

  6. When do Dual Enrollment courses meet?

    Most courses meet after school or on Saturdays.  Each college or university determines the day and time that courses will be scheduled.

    Please click on the link below for more information:

     http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/c/ccawareness/programs--services/dual-enrollment2

  7. Will I take classes with college students?

    Students who enroll at Community College of Philadelphia and Manor College will take regularly scheduled classes with college students.

    Please click on the link below for more information:

     http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/c/ccawareness/programs--services/dual-enrollment2

  8. Are Dual Enrollment courses the same courses that other college students take?

    Dual Enrollment courses are the same rigorous college courses offered to other students within the college or university. They are not high school classes offered on the college campus.

    Please click on the link below for more information:

    http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/c/ccawareness/programs--services/dual-enrollment2

  9. What happens if a student fails a Dual Enrollment course?

    If a student receives a failing grade, he/she will receive neither high school or college credit. Failing grades appear on students’ high school and college transcripts.  Students who fail a course are no longer eligible to participate in the Dual Enrollment program.

    Students that are experiening difficulty with a Dual Enrollment course are encouraged to talk to the professor and make use of college, university and home high school supports.

     Please click on the link below for more information:

    http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/c/ccawareness/programs--services/dual-enrollment2

Advanced Placement (AP)

  1. What is the Advanced Placement Program?
  2. How can participation in the AP Program benefit my child?
  3. How do I find out a particular college’s policy in regards to AP courses and exams?
  4. Will participation in AP courses increase my child’s scholarship opportunities?
  5. How can I find out if my child is eligible to participate in the AP Program?
  6. How can I find out which AP courses are offered at my child’s school?
  7. What costs are associated with the AP Program?
  8. Where can I find additional information about the AP Program?
  1. What is the Advanced Placement Program?
    The Advanced Placement Program is sponsored by College Board.  It
    consists of college-level courses with final exams offered to qualified
    and interested students in their junior and senior year of high
    school.  Currently, almost every four-year School District of
    Philadelphia high school offers courses in one or more of the following
    content areas: English, math, science, social studies, World Languages,
    psychology, computer science, art, and music.  These courses, developed
    by committees of college professors and experienced AP teachers, are
    reviewed and revised on an ongoing basis to meet evolving higher
    education standards.  Starting this school year, for a school AP course
    to be authorized for AP credit on the student’s transcript, the
    instructor must have submitted his/her syllabus to College Board for a
    formal approval process.
  2. How can participation in the AP Program benefit my child?
    AP courses teach students many necessary writing, research, and higher
    level skills needed to be successful in college.  Students with high
    school transcripts containing courses with the AP designation are more
    likely to gain acceptance to college.  Many colleges offer college
    credit and/or the opportunity to skip ahead to higher level courses to
    students who complete an AP course and earn a satisfactory score on the
    AP exam connected to that course.  In addition, students who have
    successfully completed one or more AP courses are more likely to
    receive their undergraduate degree within a four year time period.
  3. How do I find out a particular college’s policy in regards to AP courses and exams?
    The College Board website, www.collegeboard.com/ap/creditpolicy,
    contains specific information about many colleges’ policies regarding
    credit for AP courses and exams.  Local area universities including
    Drexel, University of Pennsylvania, Eastern, La Salle, Temple, St.
    Joseph’s, Villanova and Penn State, to name a few, give course credit
    for students who have passing or high passing scores on AP exams.  Many
    of the above universities will place students who have passing or high
    passing scores on AP exams into higher level courses.
  4. Will participation in AP courses increase my child’s scholarship opportunities?
    Successful participation in an AP course increases your child’s grade
    point average and is looked upon favorably by institutions who grant
    scholarships.
  5. How can I find out if my child is eligible to participate in the AP Program?
    To be successful in many AP courses, students need to have successfully
    completed a specific sequence of courses in the course content area. 
    For some courses, demonstrated strength and interest in the course
    content area will make the student a strong candidate for an AP
    course.  In addition, student performance on the PSAT can help indicate
    AP courses for which a student has the potential to be successful. 
    Your child’s guidance counselor and/or school AP Coordinator can help
    determine student eligibility for a particular AP course.
  6. How can I find out which AP courses are offered at my child’s school?
    Several staff members will be knowledgeable about which AP courses are
    offered at your child’s school.  You can ask to speak to the AP
    Coordinator, a guidance counselor, or the roster chair.  For general
    information about school offerings, you can contact Clarivel Escobar at 215-400-4210.
  7. What costs are associated with the AP Program?
    College Board charges a fee for the AP Exams connected to each AP
    course.  This year, The School District of Philadelphia will cover the
    cost of any student’s AP Exam if it is not covered by a fee waiver. 
    Since taking the AP Exam is a requirement for all School District of
    Philadelphia students who are taking an AP course this school year, the
    parents/guardians of students taking one or more AP courses are asked
    to sign an agreement that they will be responsible to pay a used
    booklet fee of $13 per exam if the student fails to take the exam(s)
    for his/her course(s).
  8. Where can I find additional information about the AP Program?
    College Board maintains an online site, www.collegeboard.com, at which there are many downloadable resources about the AP Program.

The Advanced Placement Exam

  1. When are the AP Exams given? How much time is given to complete the exam?
  2. How are the AP Exams scored?
  3. What testing accommodations are made for students who have a disability?
  4. Who receives the AP scores?
  1. When are the AP Exams given? How much time is given to complete the exam?

    This school year, AP Exams will be given starting May 5, through May 16, 

    The administration of the exam for each course is assigned a specific date and time.  Depending on the course, an AP Exam session can range from two (2) to three and one quarter (3 ¼) hours.

  2. How are the AP Exams scored?
    AP Exams are scored by trained college professors and AP instructors. 
    Each AP Exam grade is a weighted combination of the student’s score on
    the multiple-choice and essay sections.  The final grade is reported on
    a 5-point scale with a passing score being 3 or higher. (5 = extremely
    well qualified, 4 = well qualified, 3 = qualified, 2 = possibly
    qualified, 1 = no recommendation).
  3. What testing accommodations are made for students who have a disability?
    If a student has a documented disability, there are a variety of
    accommodations for the AP Exam including: extended time, Braille,
    large-type exams, large-block answer sheets, a reader to dictate
    questions, and a writer to record responses.  In order for a qualified
    student to receive accommodations, a designated staff member must have
    a Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) form on file and must
    submit an SSD Student Eligibility Form by a prescribed date.  The
    submission date is generally in the February preceding the May AP Exam.
  4. Who receives the AP scores?
    An initial grade report including the grades from every (if desired) AP
    Exam a student has taken can be ordered at no cost by filling in a
    section of the exam registration answer sheet.  The exam results will
    be sent out in July to the student, his/her high school, and any
    student designated colleges.  At a later date, students have additional
    options regarding exam results including changing or adding college
    recipients but there are fees for these services.