The first step on the path to a solution is knowledge. There is a great deal of misguided information about college that can set you off course. Below are some common myths and the facts.
DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN MYTHS ABOUT COLLEGE. LEARN THE FACTS.
“College is too expensive. I can’t even apply. I can’t afford college because my family is low-income.”
Funding is available! Check out this website about paying for college paying for college. Watch this video to learn about funding for students who choose to attend at a UC. Check out the costs of colleges you are thinking of attending at College Score Card.
“My parents didn’t graduate from college, so I don’t know if I will feel comfortable at college.”
Most colleges have programs to support “first generation” students and connect you to other First Gen students.
“College is not for everyone.”
If college only means a four-year degree, then yes, college is not for everyone. However, Promise Scholars defines college more broadly to include everything from career certificates to doctoral degrees.
“Not many students get financial aid for college. ”
Financial Aid is an important part of most student’s education. Financial Aid is money from the government or your college that can help you pay for tuition, books, and housing. Over 90% of all Ontario-Montclair School District students can access free financial aid.
“Only students with good grades get financial aid.”
While a high-grade point average will help a student get into a good school and may help with academic scholarships, most of the federal student aid programs do not take a student’s grades into consideration.
“The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form takes forever to fill out, and it’s really hard to do.”
If you’ve got 50 minutes, you’re good. Because that’s about how long it takes to fill out the FAFSA form. It’s also not nearly as hard as you might think and Promise Scholars offers workshops from October 1 – March 2 each school year to help you and your parents complete it.
“The FAFSA or California Dream Act Application are the only documents you need to complete to meet to get financial aid.”
The FAFSA or Dream Act helps you apply for government and school financial aid. It is not the only step, the FAFSA or Dream Act is the first step towards accessing aid – pay attention to requests for more information and make sure your documents are all accurate. Apply early! The applications are open from October 1st to March 2nd each school year.
“ACT and SAT scores are the most important indicator of success in college.”
A good ACT or SAT score isn’t a slam dunk for college success. While ACT/SAT scores matter for college access, grades (GPAs) are much more predictive of college success. In fact, strong grades—earning As and Bs in high school—are the strongest indicator of college readiness and are much more predictive of college graduation than any test score.
“A student’s odds of graduating from college will be the same at any of the colleges he or she is admitted to.”
Students of all qualification levels are more likely to graduate from college if they attend a post-secondary institution with a high institutional graduation rate. This is even true for students with strong grades in high school; in fact, college choice matters the most for students with strong academic qualifications.
Check out the graduation rates of the colleges you are thinking of attending at College Score Card.