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Need Help Paying for College? File a FAFSA

Figuring out how to pay for college can be a little overwhelming. But there’s one surefire way to make sure you don’t miss out on billions of dollars in available federal aid: File the FAFSA.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the gateway to all sorts of funding — so, before you tune out because you think you’re not eligible for aid, think again.

October is College Awareness Month when Canyons District’s high schools sponsor activities to help students apply to college (cover applications fees) and complete the FAFSA, which is the gateway to more than just needs-based scholarships. It’s the pathway to obtaining work-study opportunities in college, low-interest loans that are much cheaper than private loans, and many college- and state-based merit scholarships.

This is worth stressing: If you don’t complete the FAFSA, you’re leaving free money on the table. An analysis, in fact, found that $2.6 billion in financial aid went unclaimed in 2018-2019, because many students don’t apply.

Filing the FAFSA does take some time, about an hour, CSD’s guidance counselors estimate. And it’s something students will need to do with their parents, because it involves accounting for year-end financial information. So, to assist families — and make the FAFSA a little more fun — CSD’s high schools are hosting FAFSA completion nights throughout October (see schedule below).

Nearly all students who apply qualify for some form of federal aid. The U.S. Department of Education awarded about $112 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds in 2021.

So, don’t miss out! Families are welcome to choose whichever FAFSA completion night fits their schedules.

In preparation for these events, here’s a list of information the students will need:

  • The student’s social security number
  • The parents’ social security numbers
  • The student’s driver’s license (or other form of government-issued ID)
  • The parents’ most recent tax returns
  • Bank account statements and other asset records
  • Records of untaxed income (child support, disability benefits, health savings accounts)

FAFSA Completion Nights

Alta High: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 6–8 p.m.
Brighton High: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 5-7 p.m.
Corner Canyon High: Wednesday, Oct. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Hillcrest High: Thursday, Oct. 27 (English and Spanish), 6–8 p.m.
Jordan High: Monday, Oct. 24 (English and Spanish), 6–8 p.m.
Diamond Ridge High: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 6–8 p.m.

Teachers holding a large banner thanking companies for funding college application week.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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