For many high school seniors, the idea of applying to a college or university can seem like a daunting task. Many students are undecided of what kind of postsecondary program to pursue, or unsure of the process and deadlines, and some may not have much support or encouragement to explore their options and take the next steps. Arizona College Application Campaign is a program that is structured to provide resources and support for all high school seniors and their families as they determine their post-high school plans, whether that is a vocational certificate program, or a 4-year degree at a university, and anything in-between.
We encourage you to talk to your seniors about their plans after high school graduation. There are many factors that will contribute to your student’s final decisions, but by submitting college applications and applying for financial aid well in advance of any priority deadlines your student can have the largest range of options available to make the best decision. Here are a few easy steps to help guide you and your student through the process of selecting a postsecondary experience, submitting an application, and applying for financial aid.
Explore Postsecondary Options
Not all colleges are going to be a good fit for all students, however there is some kind of postsecondary experience that will fit your student. Whether that is a vocational or technical school, a 1-year certificate program, a 2-year degree from the community college, or a 4-year degree from a university, there is a program that will suit your student’s interests and abilities. Find more information about what postsecondary options are available in the Arizona College and Career Guide.
Complete and Submit an Online Application
Not all institutions ask the exact same questions or have the same application requirements, but most postsecondary institutions will need the following information for a complete application.
o Personal information: full legal name, birth date, address, phone number, email
o Birth place: city, county, state, country
o Contact information of parent/guardian: name, address, phone number, email
o High school name and address, or high school code
o High school transcript information (courses and grades)
o ACT or SAT score, and date
o High school graduation date
o Admission term requested (example: Fall 2017)
o Length of time living in Arizona
o Driver’s license or state ID card number
o Social Security Number or Alien Registration Number (USCIS#)
o Method of payment for application fee, or a fee waiver
Send in Your Transcript(s)
Colleges and universities often require a final transcript with the final semester grades of the student’s senior year. They may also require transcripts showing any dual enrollment courses taken through the high school or community college. The school registrar will be able to help you with a request to have official transcripts sent to the college or university.
Apply for Financial Aid
As soon as your postsecondary application is complete, the next step is to apply for financial aid. Every student should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Each year, high school seniors can start this application process on October 1, submit the FAFSA as early as you can, many colleges and universities have a priority filing deadline in the fall. A complete FAFSA requires parents or guardians providing some tax and financial information as well as an electronic signature, the FSA ID, for more information on how to complete and submit a FAFSA, click here. Talk to the financial aid office at the college or university to get any more information on paying for college. You can find more information on financial aid and scholarships here.
Arizona College Application Campaign gives every high school senior in participating schools the opportunity to apply to any college or postsecondary institution of their choice during the school day with the help and support of counselors, faculty, staff, and other volunteers to walk them through the process, answer questions, and celebrate their success. Now in its fourth year, Arizona College Application Campaign (AzCAC) is in 53 high schools, primarily schools with a Title I designation, around the state working in partnership with the postsecondary institutions in Arizona and with generous support from community organizations and higher education foundations. AzCAC is part of the national American College Application Campaign, which in 2015-2016 resulted in over 500,000 college applications submitted by participating high school seniors around the country.
Find out if your student’s high school is participating in Arizona College Application Campaign! You can get a complete schedule of schools and events here. Your student’s guidance counselor or a postsecondary institution admissions office can also help you with applications and any other questions you may have.