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home : education : education Friday, November 24, 2017

10/20/2016 4:23:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Hmong College Prep Academy Hosts FAFSA Night

By Dave Bonko

HCPA Chief Operating Officer Pao Yang talks to a parent about completing the FAFSA during the school's recent FAFSA Night.
Over 120 students, parents and family members attended Hmong College Prep Academy's FAFSA Night.
Members of the Hmong College Prep Academy Counseling Office recently held FAFSA Night, the first in a series of workshops to help seniors and their families with the college enrollment, acceptance and financing process.

The FAFSA is an application students must complete to apply for federal student aid including Federal Pell Grants, federal student loans, and work-study opportunities. In addition to determining eligibility for federal student aid, many states, private organizations, colleges, and career schools rely on information from the FAFSA to determine eligibility for nonfederal sources of aid.

"A major component of HCPA's mission is to ensure our students are ready in all areas of college preparation," stated Superintendent Dr. Christianna Hang. "They may be ready from an academic standpoint; however, do they understand the necessary steps to maximize their financial aid and scholarship options? That's why workshops like FAFSA Night are important."

The session, which provided in-depth detail on all facets of completing and submitting a FAFSA, attracted over 120 students and parents. School counselors Cecelia Lee and Toni Marie O'Daniel also arranged for five volunteers from nearby colleges to assist participants.

The session also covered two major changes to the FAFSA that will take effect for the 2017-18 school year. (The 2017-18 school year runs from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.)

1. The FAFSA will be available earlier (October 1 of the previous year instead of January 1 of the upcoming school year). Previously, students could only complete a FAFSA for the upcoming school year after January 1.

2. The FAFSA will collect income information from an earlier tax year. The second major change also begins with the 2017-18 FAFSA cycle. Currently, in addition to other information, FAFSA applicants (and their parents, if applicable) must report the prior year's income information.

The table below chronologically outlines program changes.

When a Student Is

Attending College

(School Year)

When a Student Can

Submit a FAFSA

Which Year's Income Information Is Required

July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 January 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 2015

July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018 October 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018 2015

July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019 October 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019 2016

"There are a number of benefits to these program changes," stated Cecelia. "The financial aid application process will then be able to take place around the same time as the college application process. What I really like is that applicants won't have to estimate their income. They can use the prior year's amount which reduces stress."

"We were very happy with the turnout," stated HCPA Media Support Specialist Tony Hang who assisted with the program. "It was a beautiful event. There was a great deal of participation by a lot of concerned parents which was great to see."

Since its inception, Hmong College Prep Academy has been providing its students with a well-rounded education in an environment that features individualized programs and small class sizes. For more information or to take a tour, interested parties can call 651-209-8002 or on the web at www.hcpak12.org.




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