Financial planning for college begins in high school and extends into teaching. These steps will help students and parents identify what should be accomplished each year for successful financial planning.

If you have financial questions, please contact the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid at https://financialaid.arizona.edu/contact

High School

  • Freshman Year of High School: Yes, planning for college starts early! Make it your priority to visit with your high school guidance counselor routinely to make sure you are taking the right courses to make you college eligible. Do well in your classes and keep your grades up throughout high school so that you may qualify for merit-based (test- and grade-based) scholarships. Volunteer and be involved in extracurricular activities. Take rigorous courses yearly to prepare for college. You can use the app at www.createyournext.com to track your progress!
  • Sophomore Year: Begin researching types of scholarships for which you may qualify.
  • Junior Year: Apply to colleges and for as many scholarships as you can.
  • Senior Year: Complete the FAFSA between Jan. 1-Mar. 1 for priority funding: fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA must be completed every year. Continue applying for scholarships!


  • Freshman Orientation: Attend the Financial Aid session to learn about your aid options.
  • Freshman Year of College: Know what your scholarships terms are; there are often unit and GPA requirements to maintain scholarships each year. Continue to utilize Scholarship Universe throughout your college career to find additional scholarships. 
  • Sophomore Year: Continue maintaining your scholarship terms. You must re-apply for some grants and scholarships (such as the TEACH Grant) every year. Look for financial aid opportunities related to your specific content area (e.g., math, science, special education, bilingual).
  • Junior Year: Continue maintaining your scholarship terms. Research opportunities for loan forbearance, deferment, and forgiveness, especially if you plan to become a teacher. Research graduate school funding.
  • Senior Year: Complete the Loan Exit Interview. Know what the terms are for your loans and maintaining the status of your grants (such as the TEACH grant). Speak to future employers about loan forgiveness options. Contact your loan provider if you are concerned about not being able to repay your loans.

Post-Graduation: For highly-qualified, full-time teaching in a low-income school and/or a high-need field.

If you received a Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Loan, and/or TEACH Grant:

  • After each year of teaching, apply to have a percentage of your Federal Perkins Loan cancelled by contacting:

Educational Computer Systems Inc. (ECSI)
181 Montour Run Road, Coraopolis, PA  15108

  • After 4 consecutive years, TEACH Grant requirements are met.
  • After 5 consecutive years, complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application (for Stafford Loans) by contacting your loan servicer(s). Apply to have the remaining percentage of your Federal Perkins Loan cancelled.