Paying for College
When it comes to college, there are so many things you’ll have to consider – location, what programs and majors are offered, and how much will it all cost – just to name a few. This can all be really overwhelming. However, just like with anything in life, the more information you have, the more informed of a decision you can make. If you’re a student of any age or a parent overwhelmed by the costs of college or confused by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), we can help! Our trained staff members and volunteers will help you complete and submit the application to secure the financial aid you’re eligible for.
College Success Track
Available workshops and services:
- TABLING EVENT
- Request Ladder Up to attend your event (e.g. Parent Nights, neighborhood events, etc.) and have us host a table. Tabling events are an informative outreach opportunity for us to distribute flyers and share details about our Tax Assistance Program, Tax Clinic Program, and Financial Capabilities program.
- COLLEGE FINANCES 101
- An interactive workshop to help support students as they start their college experience with money management skills. This workshop also helps students dissect and decipher award letters, navigate the student loan process, verification, and understand budgeting and financial responsibility during the first year of college.
- FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION WORKSHOP (formerly known as FAFSA 101)
- This workshop provides students and parents with an overview of the new financial aid process. It also details the steps involved in the NEW FAFSA/Alternative Application, key resources, and how to better understand questions within some sections.
- FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION COMPLETION PROGRAM
- Provides free assistance in completing the FAFSA or Alternative Application, a critical application that is now a prerequisite for obtaining a high school diploma in Illinois. In this hands-on workshop, we will help students and their families submit the financial aid application on time and accurately.
- UNDERSTANDING STUDENT LOANS WORKSHOP
- A workshop that helps students understand and distinguish between the different types of awards, grants, and loans.
- UNDERSTANDING AWARD LETTERS WORKSHOP
- A workshop that helps students dissect and decipher award letters, navigate the student loan process, and understand budgeting and financial responsibility during the first year of college.
- UNDERSTANDING the ITIN APPLICATION and RENEWAL PROCESS
- This workshop will include information on understanding what an ITIN number is and why it is used. It also covers the supporting documentation needed and the benefits of using a certifying acceptance agent (CAA).
- UNDERSTANDING the 1098-T and COLLEGE EDUCATION CREDITS
- This workshop will review the 1098-T and two common educational tax credits applicable to post-secondary expenses – American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.
For questions, or to schedule any of these workshops, contact us at: email@example.com
Affordable Colleges Online
Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC)
Detailed information about financial aid including EFC calculators, financial aid program overviews, and much more: isac.org
U.S. Department of Education
The Department of Education has many primary resources on everything related to higher education: ed.gov
You Can Go
Helps you stay on track in your college readiness, make a pledge to go to college, and tell others all about: ycg.org
Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education to help low-income, disabled, or first-generation college students achieve a college education: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/index.html
They say money talks and we couldn’t agree more…
“Marwen has partnered with Ladder Up for numerous years to support Marwen students and families with financial literacy and applying for financial aid. Ladder Up’s programs are comprehensive and accessible and their staff is great — each workshop and staff member meets students where they’re at and makes financial topics engaging and fun! They’ve been a great resource for Marwen and have helped us support so many families and students over the years. We look forward to continuing this great partnership.”
“Ladder Up was such a tremendous help in showing our alumni how to successfully compare sample award letters, that the next day during a college visit, our students taught their financial aid representative a thing or two!”
“Ladder Up covered pre & post-graduation information that I could not have covered (thoroughly) during the school year. I always give my students my best and bring them the best! Ladder Up is the best…Ladder Up Rocks!!!”