ACT Parent

In this issue

’Tis the Season…For Financial Aid

With the holidays just around the corner, no doubt you’re busier than ever. However, there is one more important item to add to your to-do list. Make sure you’re up-to-date on financial aid terminology and filing deadlines. Here are some helpful resources:

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the key to unlocking your student’s financial aid opportunities, becomes available January 1 for the 2012–2013 school year. Because aid is handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, you’ll want to get this form completed and submitted as soon as possible. Visit the official FAFSA website for the form and a list of what you need to do to complete it.
  • Research the different types of financial aid that are available. Learn the differences between gift aid (scholarships and grants), private and federal loans, and need- and merit-based aid. Start at the ACT website for the basics.
  • Deadlines for financial aid vary. Check the FAFSA website for important deadlines.
  • Watch out for services offering “guaranteed” scholarships for a fee. Unfortunately, student aid is subject to scammers. Check here for the warning signs.
  • If your student isn’t a senior yet, use the FAFSA4caster to get a start on financial planning for college.

Jump-Start Your Junior

Encourage your junior to:

More information about college planning can be found on the ACT Student website.

Holidays at Home: Brain Boosting During the Break

Now that the holidays are fast approaching, the school year is nearing the halfway point, and financial aid deadlines are closing in, many students are coming down with a serious case of the slumps. Your student has worked hard to get to this point of the year, and the temptation is to take it easy. What can you do to keep your child motivated this month?

Focus on the goal. Find out what really keeps your student centered on a goal. Some students like checking off lists. Some create action plans. Others are driven by good grades or rewards.

Offer rewards for progress. Ideally, the best motivation for success comes from within. However, for some students motivation is about external rewards, like a movie or dinner out, extra cash, a day with friends, etc. If your student achieves a goal, make sure you follow through with rewards promised.

Take breaks to help concentration. It’s to be expected that your student will be preoccupied by the holidays. The best way to beat the distraction while trying to study is to take breaks for a few hours or a day or two. Allowing your student’s mind to relax and think about the holidays can help with concentration in the long run.

Don’t overbook the schedule. With holiday events and parties, students can feel like they are pulled in multiple directions. Be sure to leave time in your student’s schedule so he or she can focus on school and homework without feeling stressed.

Celebrate when it’s time. It's so easy to celebrate the holidays all month long. However, for the sake of your student, try to limit family celebrations to the actual holiday or during the school break so he or she doesn’t get overwhelmed.

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Deadline Extended: ACT Video Contest

The deadline to submit an original video—and a chance to win scholarship money—has been extended to January 28, 2013. Online voting will be now be held February 11-18, 2013, and winners announced February 25, 2013. Click here for more information about this exciting contest, including details about the five entry categories.

Scholarship Alert: ACT Poster Contest

ACT will kick off its annual high school student poster design contest on December 10, 2012. High school students in eleventh and twelfth grades who are residents of the United States and who plan to attend a two- or four-year college in the next two years are invited to participate.

Encourage your son or daughter to create and submit an original poster that encourages students to attend college and to take the ACT Test. A panel of judges will select three prize winners based on creativity, visual appeal, and overall content. The student who submits the winning design will receive a $5,000 scholarship to the college of his or her choice. The winning poster will be used to promote ACT test dates during the 2013-2014 testing year and will be distributed to high schools nationwide. Second- and third-place winners will receive $2,500 and $1,000 scholarships, respectively.

Posters must be submitted online via ACT's website. Submissions will be accepted from December 10, 2012 through January 21, 2013. The winners will be announced on February 11, 2013.

Click here for more information, including complete rules and how to submit a poster.

2012-2013 ACT Test Date Schedule

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
(extra fees required)
February 9, 2013* January 11, 2013 January 12-18, 2013
April 13, 2013 March 8, 2013 March 9-22, 2013
June 8, 2013 May 3, 2013 May 4-17, 2013

*No test centers are scheduled in New York for the February test date.

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