September, 2015
Have You Heard? Prior-Prior Year Makes FAFSA Completion Simpler
 
Every year, College Now helps thousands of Greater Cleveland students of all ages complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as the FAFSA, which depends heavily on the latest income information submitted via income tax returns. Time is of the essence when completing the FAFSA, as financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis; delays in completing a tax return often means a delay in submitting the FAFSA, resulting in delayed financial aid notification from colleges and universities, which is detrimental to families who are trying to plan for how to pay for college.

Currently, prior year income data is used to assess a student's financial need. Starting in 2016, students and families will be able to use prior-prior year income data on the FAFSA for the 2017-18 academic year. This has a number of benefits:
  • Students and families can file the FAFSA as early as October using prior-prior year, as opposed to having to wait until the FAFSA opens January 1 and until they've completed their prior year income tax returns.
  • Prior-prior year makes FAFSA filing easier. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows auto-population of a student's FAFSA with tax return data and decreases the need for additional documentation.
  • Students and families will receive notification of financial aid packages earlier. Allowing students to submit the FAFSA earlier allows colleges and universities to potentially provide financial aid award notifications earlier, giving students and families more time to prepare for college costs.

This is a big change for FAFSA, but rest assured, College Now will be ready to help you manage the new process in 2016!

Mentors and Mentees MIX at the Cleveland Museum of Art before Classes Begin

Before students returned to campus for another school year, the Mentoring Program held its first annual Back-to-School pair event. Partnering with the Cleveland Museum of Art, mentors and mentees were invited to attend CMA's MIX event. Pairs enjoyed music and games from around the world and even had the opportunity to go on tours of the museum's collection, all of which aligned with the 'Global' theme of the night. With roughly 90 mentors and mentees in attendance, pairs were able to socialize with other Mentoring Program participants as well as spend some quality time together and relax before classes began.


 
College Now Adult Learner Scholarship Application Open for Spring Semester, 2016

College Now provides scholarships to adult students age 19 and older who have interrupted their education for at least one year and who are pursuing a non-degree certificate or license in a technical or vocational program, an associate's degree or a first bachelor's degree.

Individuals from the following counties are eligible to apply: Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit or Trumbull. 

To learn more about the scholarship requirements and to apply for the Adult Learner Scholarship, click here.
Need to Begin Repaying Your Student Loans Soon? Visit the College Now Resource Center for Options
 
If you graduated from college in Spring 2015, you are more than half-way through the six-month grace period before student loan repayment begins.  There are many repayment options from which to choose, and finding the right one for your situation can be overwhelming if you aren't armed with the right information.
 
If you've got questions about repayment, or if you need to consolidate your loans, contact the College Now Resource Center today!  Advisors will provide you with free help in finding a repayment plan that works best for you.
 
College Now's Resource Center is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Saturdays by appointment. You can reach the Resource Center at 216-635-0441.

There are many services out there that will consolidate your loans for a fee. Don't pay for what you can get from College Now FOR FREE!
Support College Now through a Gift to the United Way of Greater Cleveland
 
College Now is grateful to United Way of Greater Cleveland for its tremendous support of the extensive college access and wraparound services that we provide to students at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District's John Adams High School as well as to eighth graders attending John Adams' four feeder elementary schools.
 
Our United Way-funded work is supported by our entire community. If your workplace participates in United Way's annual campaign, and you would like some of your contribution to benefit College Now, simply designate College Now at the bottom of the second page of the pledge form as indicated below.