(I know this isn't specifically about online degrees) but hi! I'm 20 and I am just now ready to pursue a degree. The problem is I have no idea what the process is. After my sophomore year of high school I moved to another state and did my junior year online (Connections Academy) and during that year I lost my parents. I moved in with my sister and I've been living with her since. I was 16 going on 17 but I was never adopted by her. I graduated in 2016 online with a local school. I didn't really talk with counselors about going to college because I was going through that trauma and I didn't think about my future. Anyways, now i'm motivated to become a medical interpreter. I speak English and Spanish and I'd like to get a BA online in something like Health Sciences (and also get certified through another organization after). I was really hoping someone could briefly answer some of my questions or know how I can get guidance after already graduating high school a few years ago.
1. Having been to 3 different high schools and 2 online, I didn't really get to know any teachers well. But I'll need letters of recommendation. Do I email some who I feel like I got to know the most, or who's class I exceeded in from each school, and ask them about writing one for me? What if I can't get them?
2. I will need to talk to a financial aid office about my special circumstances for FAFSA. I don't understand what the process is, do I fill it out first, or do I talk to them first? And do I fill it out after or before applying to schools? Do I apply for scholarships at the same time?
3. When do I know how much financial aid I can get? do I have to use it right away? I'm working to save up now and I would like to wait until next year to apply to any schools. I'm confused about the dates to sign up for FAFSA.
Thank you so much to anyone who reads this mess :x