Lockers In A School Hallway

PPY and Early FAFSA Knowledge-sharing Is Key: Reach Out To College Counselors

By Amy Glynn

Amy Glynn For those of us dedicated day-in, day-out, to navigating new initiatives and changes to higher ed’s Financial Aid landscape, it can feel tough to keep up—it’s certainly a marathon, not a sprint. Imagine how much harder it is to keep up when college-level financial aid is but one of myriad topics you need to be an expert in. Yes, we’re looking at you (and giving you a virtual high five for all your efforts), college counselors.

College counselors work diligently to stay up-to-date on admissions standards and best practices, career counseling initiatives, academic advising, scholarship opportunities, reference writing, and ways to pay for college. This last one—ways to pay for college—is proving more and more difficult for college counselors to navigate. Coming this October are changes that will impact how and when financial aid applications can be submitted to the Federal Government.

What are college counselors thinking?

‘What counselors are thinking about PPY,’ published by examiner.com, highlights insights from a recent Cornell College study. The study asked college counselors, both school-based and independent, how they were preparing for upcoming changes related to PPY and early FAFSA.

College counselor response highlights:

  • 67% of respondents said they were either not ready or did not know if they were ready
  • About half expect earlier requests for letters of recommendation
  • About half expect earlier earlier requests for transcripts
  • Less than 10% anticipate college fair dates to move
  • Check out the full article for further insights.

How are you helping incoming students prepare?

Financial Aid professionals can (and should) use this as an opportunity to help area high schools better understand the changes on the horizon. Outreach to high schools can include efforts such as:

  • Face-to-face meetings or email communication with high school counselors to share your implementation plans and how they may impact students
  • Supply print materials to the high schools they can post in their counseling offices to educate students
  • Be prepared to attend college fairs with materials that clearly explain how PPY and early FAFSA will affect your admissions process

Take advantage of existing resources

A wealth of resources exist that college counselors can leverage to better-understand how PPY and early FAFSA will affect students. Check out the resources and tools created by groups including NASFAA, the National College Access Network, and NACAC. You can also use all of the complimentary resources in our PPY Survival Kit, including change management tips, tactics, and suggestions and student awareness templates.

Download the Open Letter to College Counselors >