FAFSA Completion: Screening and Eligibility

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In a rather welcome effort, Student Scholarships and Grants (SSG) has created a Web portal, MiSSG, for high school counselors specifically! In MiSSG, users will be able to view records for students currently attending their high school. Users with access to MiSSG, can access FAFSA Completion reports, Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) reports of eligible students, and ACT/SAT data. We have come a long way in just a few short years and Muskegon Opportunity is confident this will be a great tool for us all!

Important note: For high school counselors to have access to MiSSG, their principal must complete a NEW Data Use Agreement and Data Receiver Designee Form each year.

Counselors are encouraged to talk to their enrolled seniors about the importance of completing a FAFSA application.  Most higher education institutions would like the FAFSA completed prior to March 1 to ensure students can take advantage of plentiful student aid packages, however many will accept a completed FAFSA application up to 4 weeks prior to the date of the college enrollment.

For questions or further assistance, please contact SSG directly at 1-888-4-GRANTS, or 1-888-447-2687, email ssg@michigan.gov, or visit their webpage at www.michigan.gov/ssg.

For more information about accessing MiSSG, please watch this short video.

A little hesitant about student debt?

Think of education as an investment! Many people invest in a house, a car or even the stock market! The truth is, here in the state of Michigan, 1 in 3 students graduate from college WITHOUT ANY DEBT.  Let’s hear that again…33% of college students have ZERO DOLLARS of debt upon graduation.   Additionally, for the 2/3rd of students who DO have student loan debt upon graduation, the average amount is not six figures as popular media may lead you to believe. In Michigan, the average amount of debt for a college graduate is roughly $29,450, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.  The average cost of a new car in recent years? $33,560.  What would be more valuable to you (or your child) in the long run – a college degree or a new car – which would you choose?

The goal of the Student Scholarships and Grants (SSG) is to help students pay for college and provide a “one-stop-shop” for the administration of Michigan’s scholarships and grants programs. For additional information: Affording College in Michigan: Guidebook for Students and Families

 

Did you know? 

1) The FAFSA process has changed! Read more here!

National College Access Network (NCAN) has done an incredible job putting together timelines, one-pages, videos, etc. from a plethora of resources.  Included are junior (11th) and senior (12th) grade timelines for students, school counselors and college advisers!
Please visit the site here! http://www.collegeaccess.org/FAFSA

2) Students and families have more tools than ever to decipher college prices and financial aid. College websites are required by law to have net-price calculators, to help people estimate what they would really pay, rather than relying on inflated sticker prices.

The government’s own College Navigator provides a range of information on each institution, including costs. And the Obama administration’s financial aid “shopping sheet” aims to let people make apples-to-apples comparisons among colleges, just by using consistent definitions.