FAFSA and Other Life Lessons

Hello all, my name is Damonta' M. and I am a senior studying Criminal Justice with a focus on corrections and community based programs. I have attended Ferris State University for the past 4 years and have played Football and ran Track over my years, I actually love school I have studied abroad in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I am family oriented and when I graduate in May I plan to either play professional football or continue school and get my masters. 

When I was a high school senior, my adoptive mother helped me to do my first year of FASFA and financial aid. It was a very stressful task because I didn’t know what type of materials or requirements that were needed to be apart of it. As I went into more depth with financial aid, I was able to get more help and advice from teachers that thought of me as their son. So it was a great resource to get things done within a timely fashion. Moments when I felt overwhelmed in this process were when I came to college my freshmen year and I was on my own; trying to get books for cheap, and getting my schedule down while getting ready for sports. On campus there were many opportunities and career services that can help out new or old college students. These resources aren’t used enough. Manage your time when you first get to college and understand that there is help out there for any questions you may have. I am sure each one of you will be great at college, it’s a blast if you handle your responsibilities and do your homework !

When applying for FASFA and financial aid, it is important to fill out the forms and get all required information in before the deadlines are due. The sooner that you get everything submitted and turned in, the better off you’ll be when the financial aid awards come back. I would say that especially if you are a freshmen or a non- traditional student, it’s often easier to forget about the FASFA process. Many emails will be sent to you, but make sure that you take the time -- either with a counselor or parent -- to sit down and get it done. The process is very redundant and sometimes boring but it helps to get everything done and not have to worry about. You should be very frugal with the money that you get back in a refund.

Being frugal with money is a huge topic for more than half of the students enrolling into college from high school because being frugal can either help or hurt someone financially with their responsibility. When you get money back from either scholarships or loans it is important to pay rent and bills first, buy food or groceries you need, and have money stored away for a rainy day. When you get extra money try not to go on a spending rampage; sending money is helpful to your family but never try to help them before helping yourself and making sure that you are taken care of.

If I can really reach someone by blogging and telling them one thing, it would be that college is not an experience for everyone and life happens. So when you get an opportunity to attend college and lucky enough to have extra money to support yourself, especially those who don’t come from strong family backgrounds, it’s key to make sure that you get paperwork and required information in by all deadlines, set aside time for yourself to perform at the top of your ability, spend the least amount of money as you can and have fun.


For more information, check out the FSM website, where you can find information about applying to collegeapplying for Financial Aid, and Campus Support Programs in Michigan.

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