Scholar Resources and Information
U.S. Department of Education Website
Free information from the Dept of Education on preparing for and funding education beyond high school.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Everything you need to know about filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is required to apply for federal grants, scholarships, and loans. The FAFSA can be filed beginning on October 1st for the academic year that begins the following September.
The FSA ID
The FSA ID is a username and password combination that serves as a student’s or parent’s identifier to allow access to personal information in various U.S. Department systems and acts as a digital signature on some online forms. Students and parents, if the student is dependent, need to create a FSA ID before beginning the FAFSA.
Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid
This document is a comprehensive resource about grants, loans and work study from the U.S. Department of Education. Available in both English and Spanish (1-800-4FEDAID).
U.S. Department of Education Financial Aid
Information on grants, finding financial aid in general, and managing student loans.
The “SmartStudent” Guide to Financial Aid
Information about paying for college: how to find and access loans and scholarships. Sponsored by an education lender.
FAME. Through a variety of loan, grant and scholarship programs, FAME helps Maine students and families meet the costs associated with higher ed. FAME also oversees an extensive outreach and counseling program designed to encourage young people to aspire to and pursue higher education.
FAME also administrates the State’s Section 529 Plan – the NextGen College Investing Plan.
Annotated College Financing Plan. Easy-to-use form to review and analyze college costs and resources.
FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION
Student Debt Reduction and Loan Repayment
“Student debt reduction and loan repayment programs may be the single most important step our scholars can take upon graduation to reduce their debt. I recommend any loans our scholars take be restricted to the federal government”
Opportunity Maine Government program that reimburses Maine student loan payments for college graduates who live and work in Maine.
Alfond Leaders Program. The Alfond Leaders student debt reduction program provides student loan repayment assistance to people who live and work in Maine in a STEM-designated occupation at a Maine-based employer. See this link for STEM careers: https://www.onetonline.org/find/stem?t=O
NAVIGATING CAMPUS RESOURCES
We are here for you! We can recommend to you how to collaborate with staff and faculty on your campus to make your experience as fruitful as possible. Names of departments may vary by school, but every campus is likely to have some form of support in the resources listed below. The more you keep us informed on your needs and concerns, the more we can guide you appropriately for assistance.
You don’t have to be struggling to visit with a professor. Drop in and introduce yourself — people are more able to help you when they know you. If you encounter challenges in any of your classes, do not hesitate to leverage the following resources:
- Meet with professors after class and/or during posted office hours.
- Discuss issues and stay in touch with your academic advisor.
- Inquire about tutors and/or academic support centers.
- Talk with classmates about forming study groups.
- Use keyword searches to identify online resources both on your school’s web site and on the Internet in general.
Having trouble working through a roommate issue? Not feeling yourself but not sure why? Consider the following resources that are in place to help you:
- Visit your campus health center for medical and/or emotional support.
- Talk with residential life staff to identify strategies for resolving conflicts.
- Make an appointment with the Dean of Students office (or equivalent) to discuss high-level problems.
- Attend meetings or join student organizations to connect with others who have mutual interests or causes.
- Call anonymous hotlines to speak with trained counselors or advisors.
- Check in with a professor, teaching assistant, classmate, family or friend with whom you feel comfortable discussing your experiences.
CAMPUS AND PERSONAL SAFETY
If you have questions on campus violence, abusive relationships, sexual assault and harassment there are many resources.
If you believe you have experienced an assault or harassment, visit your health center and police department immediately to report.
Circle of 6 is an award-winning app that allows friends to help each other more easily, aimed at safety.
Your campus may also use a good system, and if they do, be sure to utilize it.
Are you encountering unexpected financial challenges? Can’t find a job on campus? Feeling discouraged that your budget may not allow you to study abroad? A proactive and resourceful approach will help you uncover options available to you.
- Visit your financial aid office to discuss specific issues -especially if your financial circumstances change.
- Stay on top of student employment office updates for job leads, but also reach out directly to academic departments or offices on campus that interest you to inquire about employment opportunities (even if nothing is advertised!).
- Contact academic departments/Dean of Faculty, career development/services, advancement/fundraising and the community service/engagement offices to inquire about available stipends, fellowships, awards, scholarships and other resources to support research, internships, and/or study abroad programs.
- Inquire through the Dean of Students and the student activities offices about funding and resources for transportation, extracurricular activities, and other non-academic endeavors.
- Identify and use financial resources such as Finance Authority of Maine, https://thecollegeinvestor.com; the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit, and Office of Federal Student Aid.
- Food insecure? SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) assistance is available to low income students to ensure you receive the nutrition you need.
It can be very exciting — and admittedly a bit daunting — to think about identifying potential career paths. The good news: you are in charge of charting your own course, and you have a lot of support available to you. This is your opportunity to explore the boundless options available to you, and for you to make decisions that match your unique interests and preferences (and not those of anyone else!).
It is also important to keep in mind that on average, most people can expect to change career paths (not just jobs, but actual shifts to different fields of work) 5-7 times in their working lives. Career development is an ongoing and dynamic process that prepares you for the twists and turns ahead if you put time and effort into learning the basics. The sooner you get started, the more prepared and confident you will feel in the networking process (just think of this as building relationships and exchanging information with others who have mutual interests!) and in your search for internships and jobs.
Wherever you are in your career development, we encourage you to take a proactive approach by tapping into the following resources as time allows. Take it one area at a time.
Make an appointment with a career advisor at the career center on your campus to seek feedback on your resume and learn about your school’s career resources. Also inquire about networking strategies and the best ways to find alumni who are willing to offer career advice and hire students. Career offices can provide invaluable assistance and contacts for internships and jobs. Learn all that you can about LinkedIn.com and build a strong Linkedin site for yourself. Here’s an article on how to do it: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-31-best-linkedin-profile-tips-for-job-seekers. Ask if your career center offers assessment tools such as the Strong Interest Inventory to help with identifying potential career preferences.
- Talk with your professors (see if they have office hours during which you can visit) and older classmates in your academic department. You will learn a lot about different pathways, resources, and employer leads within various fields of work.
- Try to join campus clubs/organizations that are related to your career interests, and work your way up to a leadership role.
- Look for a campus job in a department or office to build relevant experience (reach out directly to a hiring manager even if a position is not posted through the student employment office).
- Volunteer your time with organizations off-campus that focus on missions that are important to you. Not only will you gain valuable experience to reinforce or rule out career preferences, but you can also add this to your resume. You may also land a job offer for the future!
- Consider setting up job shadows and informational interviews with employers near campus. Ask your career advisor about tips and local leads. Over school vacations, use some of your free time to request these opportunities with people in your networks back home (parents and older siblings of friends, mentors, former supervisors, etc.).
- Identify several key employers and organizations that interest you, whether they are in Maine or elsewhere. Share this list with key people in your networks (including WSF staff) so that people can introduce you to contacts and brainstorm ideas to expand your list. Keep in mind – you only need just ONE job! So keep it simple and focused.
- Use O*NET OnLine to explore ideas for occupations as well as detailed information on required skills and education, salary ranges, projected job growth, etc.
- Check out Vault.com as a go-to resource for many career fields, and be sure to explore Live + Work in Maine for a wide range of job opportunities in your home state!
- Information on a career in Behavioral Health: https://www.drugrehab.com/guides/addiction-professional-degrees-careers/
Other Helpful Links:
For Job Openings after graduation:
-MANP (Maine Association of Nonprofits (nonprofitmaine.org) list available nonprofit positions within the State on their Job Board.
10. After going through the basics with your campus career center, contact WSF staff as questions come up about your career exploration. Please also share good news about internships and jobs that you land. Not only do we want to celebrate with you, but we also would love to facilitate future employer connections for other Worthington Scholars and Alumni who have shared interests!