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FAFSA workshop enables students to gain help with application

As we ring in a new year, new adventures and responsibilities await seniors. Application deadlines have come and gone, but one deadline still remains: the FAFSA deadline. Fortunately, many institutions offer a FAFSA workshop.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

FAFSA provides students and families alike with the opportunity to receive financial aid when it comes to paying for college tuition and other expenses.

You may ask what is FAFSA? FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This will likely be a new term for many parents and students who have not experienced the college application process before.

Another question that may be forming in your mind is why is FAFSA important? FAFSA provides students and families alike with the opportunity to receive financial aid when it comes to paying for college tuition and other expenses. The financial burden that can come with obtaining a higher education can seem overwhelming, but remain hopeful because there might be aid awaiting you.

To further highlight the importance of FAFSA, the following excerpts are what colleges and universities had to say when it came to providing input on FAFSA.

Clairissa Talley graduated from Azusa Pacific University (APU) in 2016 and now works as the Admissions Counselor at APU. Talley urges students to fill out a FAFSA because you never know when you might receive financial aid.

The Admissions and Financial Aid Offices at our University strongly encourage students to fill out a FAFSA each year. Many families assume they make “too much” or “too little” to be eligible to receive financial aid, but in fact, many students do receive financial aid. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for financial aid from the federal government, state government and oftentimes the institution to which you are applying. So it never hurts to fill out the FAFSA – you never know what aid you could get. — Clairissa Talley, Azusa Pacific University Admissions Counselor

“The Admissions and Financial Aid Offices at our University strongly encourage students to fill out a FAFSA each year,” Talley said. “Many families assume they make “too much” or “too little” to be eligible to receive financial aid, but in fact, many students do receive financial aid. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for financial aid from the federal government, state government and oftentimes the institution to which you are applying. So it never hurts to fill out the FAFSA – you never know what aid you could get.”

Westmont College Admissions Counselor Andrew Devian earned his B.A. in Economics and Business from Westmont. Devian explains why completing the FAFSA can be important.

“Not completing the FAFSA is kind of like going into a restaurant and not asking for a menu,” Devian said. “Without a FAFSA, schools don’t even get the opportunity to tell you everything that is on their financial aid menu. By completing the FAFSA, colleges will be able to tell you what you’re eligible to receive. Then you and your family can choose the sources of financial aid that are right for you.”

According to Anthony Bettencourt, San Jose State University’s Federal Work-Study Coordinator, the financial aid FAFSA possibly provides eases the ability for students to live out their dreams. 

“For many students, financial aid makes college aspirations a possibility,” Bettencourt said. “Their education makes their dreams a reality.”

The FAFSA deadline for seniors, who plan on attending college during the 2018-2019 school year, is on March 2, 2018. For first time parents and students who may have questions regarding the FAFSA application and process, there are two upcoming workshops where these questions can be answered. These workshops will also walk students and their families through the application step by step.

Clovis Community College will be hosting these two FAFSA workshops, Jan. 30 and Feb. 19, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Academic Center Building Two, Room 177. For students and parents who plan on attending, there are a few essential pieces of information that are needed to complete the application. These pieces of information include:

  •    Social Security numbers
  •    2016 income information
  •    Savings and asset information
Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Clovis Community College will be hosting these two FAFSA workshops, Jan. 30 and Feb. 19, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Academic Center Building Two, Room 177.

For more details regarding these FAFSA workshops at Clovis Community College, you may contact them directly at (559)325-5239.

As the academic advisor, I encourage all seniors and parents to complete the FAFSA and attend one of these workshops to further their understanding of federal aid eligibility. Completing the FAFSA is the first step to potentially receiving financial aid that can help students and their families pay for college in the fall.

For more college corners, read College Corner: Scholarship resources and benefits. For more college related articles, check out COLUMN: College trips through the eyes of a senior.

You can reach Evangelina Tello by email.

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