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Friday, November 16, 2012

Helping Ease College Application Anxiety

One of the sessions I attended at the WLA Conference this fall was all about resources available to help public libraries make the college application and financial aid maze easier for students.  While many of the resources are specifically designed to help students who are the first in their families to make this leap, they are useful to everyone!

Next Stop College Wisconsin provides presentations that "provide support at critical steps on the path to college."  Workshops include finding the right college, exploring majors, acing the admissions process, financial aid, scholarship opportunities, and more.  They also provide one-on-one help, so you could have people sign up for appointments with an expert for help with applications, scholarship searches, and college planning.  You can also order free print materials.

What is not to like?  Libraries seem like a perfect host to such activities--and what a great opportunity to work with schools!

Another group, the Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Program, sponsored by the Department of Public Instruction, sponsors events like College Goal Wisconsin, an event in February that provides assistance for filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  The goal is for people to finish filling out the FAFSA in one session.  The Hedberg Library in Janesville hosts College Goal Wisconsin, so libraries can do it!  And right now, in the IFLS territory, there are College Goal Wisconsin events in Eau Claire and Rice Lake, but that's it!  There is definitely room for more.  

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