Shared from the 2018-06-13 American Press eEdition

Annual Excel Conference hosted at SEED Center

High school students and recent graduates learned about financial aid, scholarships and college readiness at the Annual Excel Conference on Friday at the SEED Center.

The event, hosted by Family and Youth Counseling Agency’s Leadership Center, featured a series of workshops and seminars.

Ralynn Castete, McNeese State University scholarships director, said many students don’t realize that financing their educations isn’t just something for their mothers and fathers to worry about.

The financial aid form, Castete said, is just as importation as a job application.

“The application is where you’re introducing yourself for the first time,” she said. “And you should always want to put your best foot forward.”

Excel participants said the event offered them information that they otherwise may never have learned about.

“This was the first time I’ve ever seen the actual number that TOPS provides,” said Vinton High senior Caleb Daniel. “It’s not as much as I expected, but of course, I’ll take whatever help I get.”

Similarly, Iowa High graduate Jacquelyn London said, “I didn’t realize there was a limit on how long you had to pay off certain student loans.”

Concerning declaring a major, David Spicer, a senior at Sulphur High, said, “One method they gave us was to cross off things you aren’t interested in. Most of the time the normal advice is, ‘Just figure out what you interested in.’ But now I see the opposite knowledge may be just as helpful.”

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