By Katie Wornek, Outreach Officer and Financial Aid Expert – February 8, 2017

The White House

With the Presidents’ Day holiday this month, let’s honor our Commanders-in-Chief with some presidential trivia and a few suggestions about how you can prepare for college.

Did you know…?

  • Harvard University has produced the highest number of U.S. presidents. Seven presidents earned a degree from Harvard.
  • Woodrow Wilson was the only president to earn a Ph.D. He studied history and political science at John’s Hopkins University.
  • George Washington was the first president to attend college. He attended the College of William and Mary, but his father’s death stopped him from completing school.

Franklin Roosevelt signed the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act (or “G.I. Bill”) in 1944 to give financial aid to World War II veterans.

Many American presidents also went on to make lasting changes to higher education. Here are just a few ways the presidents made college more accessible:

  • Franklin Roosevelt signed the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act (or “G.I. Bill”) in 1944 to give financial aid to World War II veterans. This boosted college enrollment and strengthened the American workforce and economy.
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson approved the Higher Education Act of 1965, which created scholarships, gave more federal money to colleges and universities, and provided low-interest loans to students.

Education has been a personal and professional priority for many U.S. Presidents, and we want to help you make higher education a top priority in your life! Consider accomplishing these tasks during the month of February to help prepare for college:

Complete your FAFSA.

If you haven’t yet submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), doing so can tell you how much financial aid you can receive to help pay for college. If you have FAFSA questions, StepUp Utah has plenty of resources available to help you understand every step of the application process. You can also attend a free and public FAFSA Night if you need help getting your FAFSA submitted. See all of our FAFSA Night events here.

Plan a campus visit.

The weather is getting warmer! There’s no better time to plan a trip to the college you hope to attend. You can visit your school’s website to schedule a tour, and be sure to ask good questions while you’re there so you can be as informed as possible when you make your college decision.

Find a volunteer opportunity.

Many scholarships require students to have volunteer experience. Volunteering is a great way to help your community, discover what you’re passionate about, and improve your resume. You don’t have to be the President of the United States to demonstrate leadership and serve others! Check out UServeUtah to find volunteer opportunities close to you.

Katie is an Outreach Officer with UHEAA and StepUpUtah. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Political Science from the University of Utah and previously worked as a tutor with the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college preparatory program. You can follow her for professional advice about preparing and paying for college on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (@StepUpKatie).