RESTON, Va., Jan. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- It's the time of year when most college-seeking students are finding out if they've been accepted into their school of choice, but many may be unsure how they plan to finance their future education. In fact, according to new research commissioned by the National Honor Societies, 50 percent of college seeking students surveyed worry they will be unable to pay for their college education. Further, nearly 4 in 10 students (38 percent) say they need help figuring out how to apply for scholarships, and 33 percent wish they had more information about the process.
"The financial aspect can be one of the most daunting parts of the college experience for students and parents. However, the right resources, expert advice and information can help alleviate many of these concerns," said Dr. Jonathan Mathis, director of the National Honor Societies. "As part of the National Honor Societies' 'Honor Your Future Now' campaign, our goal is to encourage students everywhere to prepare early and take advantage of all the information available to set themselves on the path to college, career and a lifetime of success. Understanding all their financial options and taking action now is a critical part of supporting the future of their academic and personal journeys."
The National Honor Societies are helping students to understand that it's never too early to start preparing for college, including financial planning. To help navigate the often-complex process of college funding, the National Honor Societies have prepared a visual guide, available through a website launched as part of the "Honor Your Future Now" campaign. A section called "Paying for College" provides an infographic illustrating such college-funding tips as:
- Consider Your Own Resources. This can include parent income, student income, gifts from relatives or starting savings accounts, such as the 529 plan.
- Get Financial Aid. This can include need-based aid or merit-based aid. Need-based aid is available when families can prove they need the money, which can be done by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1 each year. Merit-based aid is most commonly awarded through scholarships, but could also include institutional grants offered by colleges and universities.
- Reduce Costs. Taking steps like earning college credit by successfully completing Advanced Placement (AP) and dual enrollment coursework may cut the amount of time and money needed to earn a degree.
To view the full infographic and find out more about ways to pay for college, visit:
NEW COLLEGE FUNDING AND PREPARATION RESOURCES FOR NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY MEMBERS
As part of the "Honor Your Future Now" campaign, the National Honor Societies are also rolling out a host of new resources for members during the 2015-2016 academic year, including:
- Enhanced NHS Scholarship Program: The current NHS Scholarship Program will reach more students than in previous years with a total award pool of up to $2 million within the next four years.
- NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award: The NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award will recognize 500 of the most exceptional members nationwide with a $500 college savings award, to be program-managed by Oppenheimer Funds (OFI Private Investments) as part of the New Mexico Education Trust Board's 529 college savings plan — The Education Plan. Nominations are made by chapter advisers and the nomination deadline is February 19.
- College Admissions and Financial Aid Planning Support: A series of webinars and Twitter Town Halls give members, parents and advisers exclusively the chance to learn directly from experts and get their questions answered on topics including the college application process, financial aid and college fit. The next webinar and Twitter Town Hall will take place February 17 and will focus on financial aid.
- NHS Scholar Dollars: An NHS members-only online tool has been customized around the membership pillars of NHS — scholarship, service, leadership and character — to help students in their college scholarship search. The tool, powered by College Board, was created in partnership with the Get Schooled Foundation, a national education nonprofit that aims to inspire, motivate and empower students to graduate high school, then go to and succeed in college.
For additional information, visit the "Honor Your Future Now" website at HonorYourFutureNow.org to access resources available for students and parents, including the Paying for College infographic; Preparing for College; and A Parent's College Checklist, which offers recommendations for key steps to take in college preparation, including financial planning. Stay up-to-date on the campaign by following #HonorYourFutureNow on Twitter and following the National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society on Facebook.
About NASSP (Founding organization of the National Honor Societies)
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States and 35 countries around the world. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high-quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.
SOURCE National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)