October 2020
  Let's Talk About 
Financial Aid 

What is the FAFSA?
Free Application for Federal Student Aid 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a federal application that will determine a student's eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. All students who wish to participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs must complete the FAFSA. Many states and most institutions of higher education require that a student completed the FAFSA in order to receive state or institutional aid. 

The FAFSA opened October 1st

HEF is facilitating a FAFSA workshop, presented by a Federal Student Aid expert on Tuesday, November 10th from 5:30PM-6:30PMPlease encourage your mentee to attend. Have them contact their assigned College Success Coach if they are interested. 

Although only Seniors should apply to the FAFSA, it is never too early to start talking about Financial Aid opportunities with your mentee!

To learn more about the FAFSA watch the video below and/or click the following link to download an informative PDF: FAFSA 101 

How to Fill Out the FAFSA
How to Fill Out the FAFSA
Budgeting with Your Mentee
4 Steps to Creating a College Budget
  1.  Talk it out: Encourage your mentee to chat with everyone who will be involved in financing their education. Discuss who is paying, expected expenses, financial aid and perhaps opening a new savings or checking account.
  2. List expenses: Help your mentee anticipate the costs of textbooks and school supplies, room and board, transportation, clothing and discretionary spending. Most of this information can be found in College and University websites, try searching "Cost of Attendance."
  3. Track spending: Explain to your mentee the importance of monitoring spending. Determine needs and wants, and decide which nonessentials they can trim. You can also explore budgeting apps that can help them track their spending. You can start by clicking here:  9 Best Budget Apps for College Students.
  4. Start Saving: Have a conversation about the importance of saving. Discuss how to create an emergency fund, for example, or plan for paying off student loans (if they plan to acquire any).


Tonja Brickhouse
How did you become involved with mentoring through the Hillsborough Education
When the Economic Club of Tampa (ECOT) began it's partnership with the Hillsborough Education Foundation to raise funds for scholarships, ECOT also encouraged members to volunteer as TSIC Mentors and I decided to serve as a TSIC Mentor.

What has been the most rewarding part of mentoring?
The most rewarding part of mentoring for me is helping the next generation evolve and rise above challenges of daily life and purposefully focus on pursuing the goals and dreams they have for their future!  I see each mentee as a part of "America's Promise" and love being a part of helping them grow their "I can do...I can be..." mindset.

What do you believe is the key to being a quality mentor?
The key to being a quality mentor is having a genuine passion for empowering others through authentic and honest communication which includes active listening; commitment of your time and talents; and specific actions related to goal setting and accountability.

When you are not working with students, how do you prefer to spend your free
What free time!?  I am actively engaged in civic and community organizations with a focus on initiatives focused on economic empowerment.  I am currently an Economic Club of Tampa Executive Board Member; a member of the Artspace Tampa Core Group; and a member of the Tampa Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  I serve in the Rivers of Life Church Ministries Intercessory Prayer Ministry, and serve as a Bible Study Fellowship Group Leader.  I also assist my husband, Raymond Brickhouse, Sr., with his consulting business.

What do you hope your mentee(s) will learn from you?
I hope Promise learns that integrity, excellence, persistence, perseverance, and a passion for having a positive impact are essential for all pursuits in life.
Other Types of Financial Aid
  • Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA): The FFAA opens October 1st. Seniors should submit the application before winter break. This application is most known for connecting students to the Bright Futures Scholarship,  but there are other Grant and Scholarship programs they could earn by submitting the FFAA. For more information, click here! 
    • Bright Futures Scholarship: Bright Futures is a merit-based scholarships that students earn by maintaining a high GPA, earning a certain score on the ACT or SAT, and logging a certain number of Community Service hours. For more information, click here!

  • Local Scholarships: Students should also apply to local scholarships. Local scholarships are only available to scholars in a particular region or area. An example of a local scholarship in Hillsborough County is the Hillsborough Education Foundation's Senior Scholarship. Only students that attend a school in Hillsborough County are eligible to apply. The link to the scholarship is below: 
  • Foundational Scholarships: Many College and University have scholarship foundations that students can apply to once they are admitted into the college. Students should explore what scholarships are available at the schools they are interested in applying to and attending. The USF and HCC Scholarship Foundations are linked below:

Searching for Financial Aid

Many high school students are shocked to hear there are thousands upon thousands of college scholarships available to college students in the United States. You can start your search using the scholarship databases below:
  • College Green Light: Connects first generation and underrepresented students to caring colleges, generous scholarships, and life-changing counselors and mentors. Click here to visit College Green Light! 

Resources for Mentors

The TSIC team has compiled resources that can be useful to you! Some of the resources are: ideas for virtual mentoring, digital copies of the mentor toolkits, financial aid information, grade-specific road maps and more. 

To access the resources click the green button below!

7 Ways to Successfully Land College Scholarships 

The scholarship game isn't for the faint of heart, nor is it without its share of competition. According to statistics from SavingforCollege.com, less than 10 percent of college students receive scholarships in any given year, and the average scholarship amount was only $3,852 at last count. They also note that the "raw odds of winning a scholarship are about 1 in 8 for a student in a Bachelor's degree program," and that full ride scholarships are few and far between. 

At the end of the day, you're applying for the same scholarships as everyone else, and not everyone can win. With that in mind, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you pay for college with scholarships and similar awards. 

Click below for some of the smartest strategies you can use to get ahead:

Source: Forbes

The College Success Team 
Director of TSIC
(813) 463-4283
Click the name of your assigned College Success Coach to email them.

College Success Coach
College Success Coach
(813) 574-0271
College Success Coach
(813) 574-0264
College Success Coach
(813) 574-0269

Mark Your Calendar

Oct. 27th 
& 29th
Mentor Workshop: 
Social & Emotional Learning as a Lens for Mentorship (Hosted by Frameworks)
More details coming soon!
All Mentors
Oct. 27thStudent Workshop: A Career in Sports, presented by MLB player Richie MartinAll TSIC Students
Oct. 28thStudent Workshop: COVID-19 & Us, presented by Preethum PrithvirajAll TSIC Students
Oct. 29thStudent Workshop: Going to the University of Florida & Engineering, presented by MLB player Richie MartinAll TSIC Students
Nov. 4th30 Second Pitches, presented by Stephen FordAll TSIC Students
Nov. 10thFAFSA, presented by FSA representative Tanika MangumAll TSIC Students

For more detailed information about the events occurring in Hillsborough County Public Schools, click the link below:
For more information, contact Anna Corman via email