Students to learn ins and outs of the process for applying
Registration for spring classes is underway, and many students find themselves worrying about how to pay for their classes. Many are not aware they qualify for financial aid, or how to apply.
“It was very easy,” said student Angel Abrego. “I thought it was going to be hard. I put off applying because I didn’t think I would get accepted. I was surprised at how easy it was.”
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, can be found at fafsa.ed.gov. The first step to applying for financial aid is to set up an FSA ID. This ID will serve as the student’s electronic signature for the remainder of the application process.
Once an FSA ID is created students will need to select the option to start a new FAFSA. The website is user-friendly and will guide students through the process.
All students older than 24 will be required to provide their 2015 tax return information to complete an application for the 2017-18 school year. Students 24 and younger will be required to submit tax information from their parent or guardian. Anyone who has filed their taxes electronically will be able to use the data retrieval tool. Students do have the option to turn the information into the financial aid office in person, but doing so may delay the process.
The Financial Aid Department recommends that applicants check their email at least once a week. “Students are not following up, and are running into roadblocks a week before school starts,” said Ruth Perez, Pell Grant technician for the Del Mar financial aid office. “If you have to call us every day to make sure everything is in order, do so.”
It can take anywhere from one to two weeks once an application is submitted for a decision to be reached, and for the information to be forwarded from the Department of Education to the financial aid office. Once it is received the results will be emailed to students.
Additional financial aid is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The priority deadline for these additional services was Oct. 1. Students will still be able to apply for financial aid throughout the year but there is no guarantee of funds available, so the earlier the better.
The financial aid office will offer a workshop for any students needing additional assistance completing an application.
“The workshops are very helpful, and made the process much easier,” said student Courtney Kerr.
The next workshop will be 4-7 p.m. Nov. 7 in Room 127 in the Student Enrollment Center in the Harvin Center.
For more information, visit the financial aid office on the second floor of the Harvin Center or call 361-698-1293.