EducationQuest College Planning Bulletin March 2016

March 2016

Have you completed your FAFSA?

If you haven’t completed your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and would like help, here are free resources from EducationQuest:


Webinar: Creating an FSA ID and Completing the FAFSA – listen in while an EducationQuest representative explains how to set up an FSA ID and walks you through the FAFSA. This webinar is offered on the following dates and times. Click the link on your desired session to register.


Wednesday, March 2, 11:00 a.m. CT: 

Wednesday, March 2, 6:00 p.m. CT:

Tuesday, March 15, 1:00 p.m. CT: 

Tuesday, March 15, 7:00 p.m. CT: 


FAFSA Tools at find videos, a checklist, and a tutorial.


Free personal help – call the location nearest you to set up an appointment. Omaha: 888.357.6300; Lincoln: 800.303.3745; Kearney: 800.666.3721; and Scottsbluff: 800.303.3745, ext. 6654.



What happens after you submit the FAFSA?


Expect your SAR

You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) acknowledging that your form was processed. Review your SAR for accuracy. If needed, make changes at


Did you use IRS Data Retrieval?

If you did not use IRS Data Retrieval to provide income tax information on your FAFSA, we encourage you to update your FAFSA at and use the IRS Data Retrieval process.  Review this handout or watch this video for instructions. If you don’t use IRS Data Retrieval, your college(s) may require you to provide a copy of your IRS tax transcript.


Watch for financial aid award notifications

The colleges you listed on the FAFSA will provide a financial aid award notification detailing the aid they’re offering. This may include a combination of scholarships, grants, work-study and student loans. Respond to each notification (most students accept all award packages until they make their final college selection).


Juniors: GoVisitCollege!

Visit colleges this spring so you can narrow your choices when you’re a senior. This short video shows how fun campus visits can be!  Follow these tips for a successful visit:


Explore your career interests and then research colleges that fit your interests. See Exploring Careers  at for free resources.


Check out college websites. You’ll find admission requirements, academic and social information, and photos or a virtual tour.  You may even be able to schedule a campus visit.


Schedule your visits at least two weeks in advance.  Ask for appointments with an admissions representative, financial aid counselor, and a faculty member in your area of interest.


Visit while the colleges are in session. You won’t get the true flavor during breaks or finals week.


Be prepared with questions to ask. It’s important for YOU to ask questions, not just your mom or dad.


Talk to a faculty member about upper-level classes in your anticipated major. This will help you understand the coursework that will be required and the degree of difficulty.


Ask the financial aid counselor how the college may offset tuition costs and about college-based scholarship applications and deadlines.


Helpful resources at



Don’t forget to apply for EducationQuest’s Scavenger Hunt Scholarship!

Apply by March 31 for EducationQuest’s Scavenger Hunt Scholarship. You could earn $500 toward your college education! Here’s how it works:

  1. If you haven’t already, complete a profile in ScholarshipQuest at ScholarshipQuest is a scholarship search tool with over 2,000 Nebraska-based awards.
  2. If you are a Nebraska resident in grades 9-12, you will see the EducationQuest Scavenger Hunt Scholarship as one of the scholarships that will appear on your results page.
  3. “Scavenge” around the EducationQuest website to find answers to questions in a survey.


EducationQuest will draw a winner from those who answer all questions correctly. The winner will receive $500 to invest in a NEST 529 College Savings Plan.


College Fairs coming up in Omaha and Lincoln

If you live near, or plan to visit, Omaha or Lincoln on the following dates, attend a college fair!


The Omaha Area College Fair is Sunday, March 20 from 1-3 p.m. at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Sapp Fieldhouse.


The Lincoln Area College Fair is Sunday, April 10 from 1-3 p.m. at Southeast Community College.


Before you attend, register for a barcode at Print the barcode and bring it to the fair so that college reps can scan it to retrieve your demographic information.






March “To Do” List



___ If you haven’t already, complete your FAFSA!

___ Expect financial aid award notifications during March and April.

___ Continue applying for scholarships.



___ Register by March 4 for the April 9 ACT.

___ Register by April 8 for the May 7 SAT.

___ Schedule campus visits.


For free help with college planning, contact EducationQuest Foundation:


Kearney                       Lincoln                        Omaha

308-234-6310              402-475-5222              402-391-4033                   

800-666-3721              800-303-3745              888-357-6300                                    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


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