Register To Win a $1,000 Scholarship

Preparing For College

Preparing for college can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. Below are some steps and helpful information to make preparing, applying, and paying for college easier.
Junior's and Senior's: Download your Checklist for College Planning here and your College Planning Guide here.

HELPFUL LINKS: - Congratulations!  The finish line for high school is in sight. Now it's time to ask yourself, "What NEXT? You can be what ever you want to be! Maybe college is not for you and that's OK. Find valuable information on the college process, Louisiana requirements, and resources you can use to find the right university. - Plan for college in just 4 simple steps! - helps students plan for college, careers and life.
Fall of your Senior Year in High School
  • October is College Application Month.  Select three or four schools that interest you.  Make the time to apply online for admission to each school.  
  • Make a note of important deadlines and meet them.
  • Make an appointment with your high school counselor early in the school year to discuss your top school choices and your career path.
  • Schedule a visit to each college/university through the Admissions/Recruiting Office.
  • Schedule admission and placement examinations, including:
  • Schedule follow-up visits with your High School Counselor throughout the year to verify that all of the necessary information has been forwarded to your school choices:
    • Test scores
    • Transcripts
    • Letters of reference
    • Essays, if necessary
  • Keep your counselor informed of any offers or acceptance letters that you may receive.
  • Create your Federal Student Aid ID "FSA ID" HERE. Your FSA ID serves as your e-signature for the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are a dependent student, a parent should also register for an FSA ID at this time. The FSA ID replaced the Federal PIN in June 2015.  
  • Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on or after October 1 and typically prior to May 1 of your senior year to be included for all types of Federal financial aid.  Check with your school for specific dates unique to their campus. 
  • Receive, review, and revise your Student Aid Report (SAR) from each of your college choices. Make certain all the information on your SAR is correct.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

  • Apply online at *Note: If you are asked to "pay" for this application, you are at the wrong website.
  • Click HERE for information on applying for the Federal Direct Loan.
  • Any questions? Feel free to contact Lela’s Customer Service Department toll-free at (844) Go FAFSA or email us at

College Goal Sunday

Attend a College Goal Sunday event in February or March at a location closest to you to get help completing your FASFA. For more information about College Goal Sunday and to find a location near you, click HERE.

Spring of your Senior Year

  • Compare acceptance and financial aid packages from each of your college choices.
  • Accept all financial aid packages now. You can decline them later, once you make your final decision.
  • Select a college, and notify the others that you are declining their offers.
  • Look for summer jobs to help with college costs.

Consider All Types of Financial Aid

Scholarship Opportunities

  • Register for Lela's Quarterly $1,000 Scholarship Drawing. Click here to register.
  • Visit to test your financial literacy and become eligible for a random $500 scholarship drawing.
  • Search online HERE and HERE. Visit bookstores or libraries to review directories of scholarship opportunities.
  • Check with your School Counselor for scholarship opportunities they receive throughout your senior year.
  • Search the Internet, using your personal interests or strengths as keywords.
  • Create a list of all potential scholarships. Include information such as requirements, deadlines, award amounts, and submit the information on a timely basis.
  • Check with the college of your discipline (i.e.College of Nursing) at your campus for additional scholarship opportunities.

Compare College Costs

  • Click HERE for a Louisiana Guide to College Cost
  • Click HERE for a Student Cost of Attendance Budget for all Title IV Assistance Programs