Hi Everyone

I was in Chicago last week at the College Board national conference and was not able to get the weekly (and more) email out to you. So here is an early one and expect a couple more in the coming days as there is lots and lots of college info coming in…and MUST BE GOING OUT TO YOU!!!

There are quite a few documents attached to this email.  please be sure to open and review those that are of interest and/or pertain to your situation, grade level or needs.

Attached please find:

SENIORS…IT IS TIME TO COMPLETE YOUR FIANCIAL AID APPLICATIONS – the FAFSA & the Florida Financial Aid application (for Bright futures & everything else Florida offers.  Please see attached FFAA Instructions for detailed directions for completing this important application.  And below is more info about the FAFSA…

Senior Financial Aid Reminders. A couple of things to do now (IF you haven’t already done so)….

Create your and your parents FSA ID  (See the attached step-by-step guide)

Creating an FSA ID is a necessary step for ALL financial aid applicants.

Your FSA ID and your parent’s FSA ID will allow you to:

  • Access your FAFSA
  • Sign your FAFSA
  • Allow your parent to access the IRS Data Transfer tool
  • Allow you to view your VERY IMPORTANT Student Aid Report (SAR)

Creating an FSAID ID for your parent will 1) allow you to assess and use the IRS Data Transfer Tool   2) it will allow your parent to sign the FAFSA.


Do your FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov

Seniors, please feel free to come to my office if you would like me to finalize the information on your FAFSA. If you need help using the IRS data transfer tool entering you parents income tax information  – I will be happy to help you.

YOUR SAR Student Aid Award Letter

Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will come to you in the form of an email a few days after you complete and submit your FAFSA. It is important for you to follow the link back to the FAFSA website so you can review this very important report. It is here that you are notified if you made mistakes on your FAFSA. It is very important that you carefully read your SAR and correct any errors. Errors found on your FAFSA must be corrected or they will delay your being awarded financial aid.

DO NOT assume that everything is OK just because you did your FAFSA.

SAMPLE SAR (Student Aid Report) you must read your SAR for mistakes that you must correct. If you do not correct these errors, yourFinancial Aid Award Letter will be delayed.


Your Award Letter:

This will come after you are accepted to a college and submitted an error free FAFSA

This is so very critical…please do not hesitate to come and ask me to explain your award letter.

It is important that you know and understand:

  • Total Cost of Attendance (what are the individual costs and are they necessary)
  • What is your EFC (Expected Family contribution.
  • How much did you receive in Grants and Scholarships (Free Money)
  • Were you offered Work Study (a job on campus)
  • How much in loans were you offered (money that you must repay

Once you understand all of the above, you can then determine if you can cut some of your loans or not.


We’ve heard from many of your students and their families that they would benefit from extra time to complete the online application to George Mason University. As such, I am pleased to announce that I have instructed my staff to extend the non-binding Early Action application deadline to Tuesday, November 15. I know how busy senior year can be for you and your students, and I hope this extra time helps to alleviate some senior year stress for everyone!

As a reminder, when your students apply to Mason by the November 15th non-binding Early Action deadline, they receive the following benefits:

  • Priority merit-based scholarship consideration without an additional essay or application;
  • Honors College and University Scholars Program consideration;
  • A non-binding admission decision, sent electronically, by December 15

In order to submit the application before the extended Early Action application deadline of November 15, instruct your students to visit www2.gmu.edu/admissions-aid/apply-now or click here. Don’t forget that the deadline is 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) that night for full consideration!

Once again, thank you for all of the work you do to support your students as they make plans for their future academic careers. If we may be of assistance to your or your students, please do not hesitate to contact us at 703-993-2400 or via e-mail at admissions@gmu.edu.


Honors College Application and Information Sessions!

The Honors College would like to extend an invitation to you, your students, and their families to attend any of our upcoming information sessions. This is an opportunity to meet our directors and learn more about The Honors College application and student experience. You can RSVP to any of the sessions listed below by clicking here.

The Honors College would also like to remind you and your students that our online application is open! The Honors College is a great place for your students to begin their academic career, build leadership skills, work with high achieving students, travel around the globe, and then venture off to some of the nation’s finest institutions. Interested students may refer to the updated applications requirements and follow the steps to apply outlined on our website.


Information Session Dates

Thursday, November 10, 2016

4:30 pm

North Campus

11380 NW 27th Avenue Miami, FL 33167

Room 3249A/3249C

RSVP – North Campus Information Session


Thursday, December 8, 2016

4:30 pm

lnterAmerican Campus

627 SW 27th Avenue Miami, FL 33135

Room 401

RSVP- InterAmerican Information Session


Thursday, December 15, 2016

4:30 pm

Wolfson Campus

300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33132

Room 7128

RSVP – Wolfson Campus Information Session


Thursday, January 26, 2017

4:30 pm

North Campus

11380 NW 27th Avenue Miami, FL 33167

Room 3249A/3249C

RSVP – North Campus Information Session


Our priority deadline is on February 1st, 2017 and our final deadline is on April 1st, 2017.



Please join us for FloridaShines’ first live Virtual College Night Wednesday, November 16 beginning at 5 p.m. ET, with follow up seminars Thursday, November 17 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET. Virtual College Night is free to everyone and funded by the state of Florida!

6:30 – 7:30 pm: College 101 for High School Students

Give your students insight on the admissions process, explain how to earn college credit while still in high school, and what resources are available to help them succeed in college. 

 8:00 – 9:00 pm: College Survival Guide for Parents

Help parents and students understand how to pay for college without breaking the bank and how to help successfully transition to college. 

 Thursday, November 17 

3:00 – 3:30 pm: MyCareerShines: Plan Your Future Today

Get an overview of MyCareerShines, Florida’s comprehensive education and career planning system.

 4:00 – 5:00 pm: FAFSA: Your Gateway to Financial Aid

Help your students learn the secret to filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is required for most financial aid. 

 5:30 – 6:00 pm: Back-to-School Basics for Adults

Find out how easy it is to go back to school with Complete Florida, which offers more than 100 online degree programs and coaches to provide personalized support from admission to graduation. 

Representatives from the Florida College System, State University System, Florida Department of Education and others will participate.

Register HERE Today! 

For more information, email collegenight@flvc.org.


RAISE.ME…Ms. Gilman would love love love for every Cuda to be registered and earning micro-scholarships towards their college education.  Join now…almost 200 institutions are on and ready to start rewarding your all for you awesome accomplishments, achievements and success!

Check it out now… Raise.me and then take a look at this 2 minute video to hear from kids directly 9and if you scroll down just a little you’ll see a video of Ms. Gilman talking about raise.me too!

SOPHOMORES & JUNIORS…And check out the attached flyer for earning $$$ from various institutions JUST FOR TAKING THE PSAT THIS PAST OCT. 19TH…


And now…

I would like to take a moment to lay out some application and financial aid strategies for the next few months.

It is my hope for everyone to have the absolute best chance at being accepted to college as well as receiving the maximum amount of financial aid that they are eligible for.

In the strategies below, I am being as basic and general as possible as I understand that many of you have already applied early to meet Common Application and state university deadlines. I wish you all the success in the world…


For many others, you are still working on various application or thinking about applying to more schools.  ALL OF YOU are wondering about financial aid and more. The following strategies are for you. One of my greatest concerns is always students applying late to college and therefore applying late for financial aid. By doing so, you risk receiving far less financial aid and thus finding college less affordable.

The Strategies are as follows:

Deadline Goal
I am still testing and or working to improve my GPA.
Apply now to your desired universities.
Use the attached “SUS GPA & Test Score Chart” for
State University GPA and Test score mid-ranges.
Use the numbers to learn more about what these schools
are looking for.
November 1 or earlier
Applying for summer admissionssometimes puts you in a better position to receive financial aid earlier as compared to waiting to be accepted for the fall.
Consider applying for the summer to gain early admissions.
If you desire a fall admissions date continue testing and send
in your 1st semester grades. If your profile is now closer to
the fall admission requirements, contact the college and
request consideration for fall admissions.
If your application is being deferred due to grades or test scores, stay on the top of your application and follow-up with admissions once new test scores and grades are available
If you are still taking any tests, please make sure that your
scores are sent as soon as possible – directly to your college.
Also as soon as your 1st semester transcripts are ready –
have them sent ASAP to the admissions office of your college.
FOLLOW-UP. Make sure that that things take place in a timely
I am waiting for my admissions to a state university.
Too many students wait till they hear back from a university
only to hear that they have been denied. Only then will they
consider their back-up colleges – like MDC and BC. Often
they find that by the time they apply to MDC or BC that the
majority of free financial aid has been exhausted.
Apply to MDC NOW. Along with doing your FAFSA in January,
you will be in a good position to receive the financial aid that
you are eligible for.
When do I apply for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) ?
Federal Financial Aid is serious business. It is essential that you apply as soon as possible after October 1, 2016.
Even if you have not been accepted yet, do your FAFSA shortly after October 1, and send your information to those colleges where you have applications waiting for a decision.
The 2017-2018 FAFSA is now available. New FAFSA rules will
now allow you to complete the FAFSA using your/parents
2015 income tax returns. This is called Prior-prior year.
This procedure now allows you to complete your FAFSA much
earlier than before and also allows you to almost eliminate
FAFSA errors by now being able to use the
IRS DATA RETRIVAL TOOL. This tool allows you to gain access
to IRS tax information by using your parent’s FSAID user ID
and Password. It is simple, fast and easy.
View Tutorial:   http://www.finaid.ucsb.edu/FAFSASimplification/index.html
Apply at: www.fafsa.gov
Apply shortly after the FAFSA becomes available January 1, 2016
I have been accepted for the summer term of the 2015-2016 school year. What do I do for financial aid?
You can apply RIGHT NOW for financial aid as follows:
(your 2015 income taxes are now available as well as the 2016 – 2017 FAFSA. So get it done!)
Attending College
Use FAFSA Form
Use IRS Income Tax From
Beginning Summer 2017
Then Fall   2017
2016 – 2017 FAFSA
2017 – 2018 FAFSA
2015 (prior-prior year rule)
2016 when completed if requested by your college.
Beginning Fall  2017
2017 – 2018 FAFSA
2015 (prior-prior year rule)
Do your 2016-2017 FAFSA for summer attendance Do the 2017-2018 FAFSAOctober 1.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions

LADIES…check out this awesome workshop on career & professional development just for you!!


Students are to go to: http://www.youngwomenwithpurpose.com/get-involved/

to register today for a special workshop on careers and development. *SPACE IS LIMITED! **Lunch will be provided

And talking about careers – I often get questions about career exploration tools etc…College Majors 101 is a great platform for just such a task.  Check it out and then take a peek at a few highlighted areas to get a taste of what you can learn:



 Nursing is by one of the most stable and rewarding of all medical careers. Good nurses are always in high demand, and according to most salary websites make a salary range from $45,000–$85,000 per year on average. The training is hard, but when you’re done you will have a career that will be in demand anywhere in the country. Male nurses are the fastest growing segment in this field and the image of nursing as a women’s’ only field will change dramatically in the near future. Nursing is not for the weak or timid. Dedication is a must.

To learn which colleges offer Nursing and watch videos about Nursing please go to:


Marine Science

 Marine Science also called Oceanography , is the branch of Earth science that studies the ocean. It covers a wide range of topics, including marine organisms and ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries.

To learn which colleges offer Marine Science and watch videos about Marine Science please go to:


“Pre-vet” and Animal Science

With the evolution of the vast pet industry, comes the need for more students trained in Animal Science. There are not just opportunities to become a full Veterinarian. A “Pre-vet” and Animal Science major can become a Veterinary Technician, work for a pet product manufacturer, teach, work at a zoo, and many other things. Like many other medical fields, pre-vet students should look for schools that specialize in, and have highly visible “Pre-Veterinary” programs.

To learn which colleges offer “Pre-vet” and Animal Science and watch videos about “Pre-vet” and Animal Science please go to:


Film / Broadcast

With technology being able to turn a small project in to a multi-national, million dollar best selling movie, learning the basics from the ground up is where you begin. If you have the will, the work ethic, and the creativity, there is nothing stopping you from becoming the next great Hollywood icon. Watch the videos at the bottom to learn some fun film techniques. When looking for a good film school, actual breadth of facilities should be your #1 concern. How many cameras per student? should be your first question.

To learn which colleges offer Film / Broadcast and watch videos about Film / Broadcast please go to: http://collegemajors101.com/college-majors/filmbroadcast

Hospitality Management

Hospitality Management is for students who truly enjoy making strangers into friends. As the very name implies, Hospitality requires management whether it’s a grand hotel, an opulent restaurant, an immense golf course resort, or a sharp corporate event. This is a major that could very well have you traveling the world. Make no mistake, the work is very hard. To be the best, you must have an iron work ethic, as well as a real desire to please even the most fussy of customers.

To learn which colleges offer Hospitality Management and watch videos about Hospitality Management please go to: http://collegemajors101.com/college-majors/hospitality-management

Physician Assistant

A Physician Assistant is a healthcare professional who practices medicine as a part of a healthcare team with collaborating physicians and other providers. In the United States, PA’s are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine. PAs are concerned with preventing and treating human illness and injury by providing a broad range of health care services with a collaborating physician. Their scope of practice can vary according to jurisdiction and healthcare setting, some will require a license. Accordingly, their work may include conducting physical exams, ordering and interpreting tests, diagnosing illnesses, developing treatment plans, performing procedures, prescribing medications, advising on preventive health care, and assisting in surgery.

To learn which colleges offer Physician Assistant and watch videos about Physician Assistant please go to:




Florida Memorial University

Attached you will find the Admissions material for Florida Memorial University. We would like you to share this with all of your seniors. Students can print, fill out, and scan the application attached free of charge. We need transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, and a personal statement as well. If you or any of your students have any questions please feel free to contact me. Looking forward to helping your students begin their college journey.

Eileen Cruceta, M.S.

Diversity Admissions Counselor

Florida Memorial University

15800 NW 42nd Ave

Miami Gardens, FL 33054

Toll Free: 1-800-822-1362



Email: eileen.cruceta@fmuniv.edu



Lou Gilman

CAP/College Advisor

Coral Reef  Senior High School

305-232-2044, ext 2151

“I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.”

Robin Williams,

Dead Poets Society – 1989