Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Paying for College 101, Part 2

Allie Bishop, Jane Reynolds, Sherry Franklin | Published: December 6th, 2023 by K20 Center


In this session, participants will learn about the FAFSA and its benefits. The participants will understand the importance of filling out the FAFSA and take time during this session to complete the FAFSA.

Essential Questions

  • What is the FAFSA?

  • In what ways does the FAFSA benefit students?



Participants will complete a Four Corners activity where they choose a method for paying for post secondary education that they know the most about and discuss it with peers.


Participants will learn how the FAFSA impacts scholarships, loans, work studies, and Oklahoma’s Promise.


Participants will learn about the vocabulary and important information needed to fill out the FAFSA.


If participants have not created a FSA ID, they will create one and fill out the FAFSA at another time.


If participants already have their FSA ID, they will fill out the FAFSA.

Materials List

  • Paying for College 101: Part 2 Slides (attached)

  • Flyer (attached, editable)

  • Four Corners Posters (attached; print one-sided)

  • FAFSA Cards (attached; cut apart; one per participant)

  • Laptops (one per family)

Learning Goals

  • Participants will explore benefits of the FAFSA.

  • Participants will demonstrate their understanding by completing the FAFSA process.


Welcome participants and briefly introduce yourself and the professional development session using the attached Paying for College 101: Part 2 Slides. Show slides 3 and 4 to introduce the essential questions and lesson objectives.

Display slide 5 and introduce the Four Corners instructional strategy to the participants. Read the poster aloud to the group so they will know where each topic is located. Instruct participants to go to the poster they know the most about.

Display slide 6. Once participants are in their four groups, inform them that they will be discussing the following questions:

  • What does your category mean?

  • How might that look in terms of paying for college or career school?

  • What are potential advantages of this category?

  • What are potential disadvantages of this category?

  • How helpful might this option be long term?

Provide each group time to discuss the questions. Ask for a volunteer in each group to share the most important fact discussed in their group.


Display slide 7 and define FAFSA for the participants. Display slide 8 and explain why the FAFSA is important for students and families to fill out. 

Display slide 9 and discuss how the FAFSA impacts PELL grants.

Display slide 10 and discuss how the FAFSA impacts work studies.

Display slide 11 and discuss how the FAFSA impacts scholarships.

Display slide 12 and discuss how the FAFSA impacts student loans.

Display slide 13 and discuss how the FAFSA impacts Oklahoma’s Promise.


Display slide 14 and explain to participants the important information they need to know in order to fill out the FAFSA successfully.

Display slide 15 and explain to participants who is considered a contributor on their FAFSA application.


Display slide 16 and remind participants that they must have an FSA ID for each contributor (parent, student, step parent). If any participants have not completed this step, encourage them to complete this step before they leave the session. It can take participants up to 3 days to receive their FSA ID, so they will not be able to fill out the FAFSA in this session.


Display slide 17 and inform participants that the rest of this presentation is dedicated to the filling out of the FAFSA application. Pass out a FAFSA Card to each participant. This provides them with the link and QR code to access the FAFSA application. Direct the participants to the computers or laptops that have been provided and walk around providing assistance. Inform participants that they are welcome to leave after they have completed the FAFSA application.


K20 Center. (2020). Four corners. Strategies.