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New Salem - February 13, 2010

Career Corner

Mrs. Linda Becker
National Certified Counselor
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
New Salem-Almont High School
Dr. Gaylynn Becker
National Certified Career Counselor
National Certified School Counselor

How are We Going to Pay for This?

It is natural to wonder how the family is going to pay for a childís education. In November there was a Financial Aid Night at New Salem Almont High School for seniors and their parents. Sandy Klein, Director of Financial Aid at Dickinson State University discussed how to complete the 2010-2011 FAFSA, step-by-step. If you didnít come to the Financial Aid Meeting in November, you may have questions about financial aid.

What is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
The FAFSA is used to apply for federal student aid such as grants, work-study, and loans. You may also use the FAFSA to apply for most state and some private aid. Submit the 2010-2011 FAFSA as soon as possible.

What is the North Dakota State Grant? For those who want to have a chance for the State Grant, submit the completed FAFSA electronically by March 8th so that the North Dakota University System receives it on time for consideration. The State Grant is need based and ranges from $ 800 - $ 1500. If you have questions, please contact the North Dakota University System Director of Financial Aid at (701) 328-4114.

What methods are available for completing the FAFSA?
You can complete the FAFSA electronically by using FAFSA on the Web, or you can fill out and mail a paper FAFSA. The website for completing the FAFSA is If you find yourself on a website that asks for money, then you are not on the correct site. The FAFSA is a free application. If you need a paper copy, call 1 (800) 433-3243.

What is a PIN Number?
A PIN is a 4-digit number that is used in combination with your Social Security Number, name, and date of birth to identify you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on Federal Student Aid Web sites, such as FAFSA on the Web.
Applying for a PIN number is one of the first steps towards completing the FAFSA. You and your parents (if you are a dependent student) will need to sign your FAFSA. Using a PIN to sign your FAFSA electronically is by far the fastest and most reliable way. You may use your PIN for the duration of your college experience and beyond. The PIN stays the same. You can apply for a PIN while completing a FAFSA on the Web application, or you can go to the Federal Student Aid PIN Web site at to apply.

What about filing our 2009 income taxes?
If you are filing a 2009 income tax return, complete your tax return before filling out the 2010-2011 FAFSA. You do not have to actually send your tax return to the IRS before filling out the FAFSA. You can submit your FAFSA using estimated income and tax information. However, after you file your tax return, you must correct any income or tax information that is different from what you submitted on your original FAFSA. Making corrections will be additional work; so filing your 2009 income taxes first will make the process easier.

You should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) within three weeks. Carefully review all of the information on the SAR to make sure it is correct. Follow directions for making and submitting corrections promptly.

How can I get started?
1. Go to the FAFSA website and follow the steps there.
2. Apply for a PIN number
3. File your 2009 income taxes early, as soon as possible.
Good luck. If you work at it, a college education is financially possible. Remember that applying for scholarships is another way to possibly receive financial assistance for college. The more scholarships students apply for, the greater the chances become for earning them.

If you have any questions on career and other counseling issues, please contact Mrs. Linda Becker at New Salem Almont High School at 843-7610. She is most often at the High School on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Do your best!