graduation cap and 100 dollar bills with text: Financial Aid

Division-wide Financial Aid Nights

The Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) is providing workshops to assist students and families in their efforts to plan and pay for college.  Join the Zoom link below at the designated date and time.  No pre-registration is needed. 

Paying for College

Pre-Recorded Session

This workshop provides helpful information for parents and students on the following topics: college costs in VA, federal and state financial aid, the FAFSA, and family conversations about college financial planning. 

Due to unexpected circumstances, the presenter was unable to attend live this evening.  A pre-recording has been made available for your convenience.  Please join us on October 26 for a live presentation.   Information is provided below. 

View Pre-Recorded Zoom Session

Financial Aid Q & A

October 26, 2021, 6-8 p.m.

Unclear about financial aid for college? Unsure about what steps you should take to apply for aid? Join Tomika Brown, Director of ECMC’s The College Place-Richmond to get your financial aid questions answered. This is an open session for all PWCS parents and students to have their concerns addressed by a financial aid expert.  Have questions before the event? Send them to tbrown@ecmc.org to make sure they are answered!

Join Financial Aid Q & A

FAFSA Walk-through

October 27, 2021, 6-7 p.m.

Join Tomika Brown, Director of ECMC’s The College Place-Richmond for a step-by-step walk-through of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  It is recommended that families complete the FAFSA the fall of their senior year.  FAFSA is often needed by college financial aid offices in order to provide a strong award package.

Myths about the FAFSA (PDF)

“Federal student aid is just ‘free money’ like grants.”

Reality: Federal student aid includes three different kinds of financial help: grants, low-interest loans, and work-study funds (a part-time job on or near campus).  Some scholarships at institutions may require a FAFSA on file in order to release funds. To learn more about the different types of federal student aid, visit Types of Financial Aid. 

“My parents make too much money, so I won’t qualify for aid.”

Reality: There is no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. Many factor, such as the size of your family and your year in school, are taken into account. And remember, when you fill out the FAFSA form, you are automatically applying for funds from your state, and possibly from your school as well. In fact, some schools won’t even consider you for any of their scholarships (including academic scholarships) until you have submitted a FAFSA form. Don’t make assumptions about what you’ll get, fill out the FAFSA form and find out.

What do I need with me in order to complete the FAFSA? 

Join the FAFSA Walk-through Session

Sourcing and Applying to Scholarships

December 9, 2021, at 6 p.m.

This workshop provides insight into the college scholarship search process; strategies and advice on how to search, organize, and apply to scholarships; scholarship application components; and the do's and don’ts of scholarships. Students will acquire information on how to produce strong and competitive scholarship applications that increase their chances of winning.

Early Planning: Paying for College

February 24, 2022, at 6 p.m.

This workshop provides helpful information for parents and students on the following topics: college costs in VA, federal and state financial aid, the FAFSA, scholarships, and family conversations about college financial planning—all important areas of focus for preparing to pay for a college education. Elementary and Middle school presentations include guest speaker from VA 529 to learn more about the education savings option.

Award Statement Review

March 10, 2022, at 6 p.m.

This workshop helps seniors and their parents understand the components of a financial aid statement that a college issues them after the student is offered admissions to the school. Participants learn how to calculate their cost of attendance, unpack the various grants, scholarships, and loans that may be included, and determine their financial need gap. This workshop can also be provided as 1:1 support for a student and their parents upon receiving offer letters.

Junior Action Plan

March 24, 2022, at 6 p.m.

This comprehensive workshop focuses on the essential steps rising seniors should be taking now to prepare for the college application process! Students learn about college costs, college application requirements, what to look for in a college, and how to find the best college fit for them as students.