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Financial Aid Offers Several Ways to Pay for College

Linna Jones
Arts & Entertainment Editor 

    Financial aid offers students several ways to pay for college.    

   According to the University Catalog, financial aid comes in many forms including grants, loans, part-time employment and scholarships. The Financial Aid office administers all types of financial aid. 

   Students may apply for all federal aid programs by completing one application, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The application can be completed online at Students need to apply early, because some types of aid have limited funding. Students must also reapply each academic year for federal aid using the FAFSA.

    One potential problem students may encounter when applying for aid may come from not having their personal identification number or their parent's PIN number when they apply. Applicants need to have their PIN numbers available when applying to offset possible delays.

   "Another problem that we see quite frequently is students applying before they and/or their parents have filed tax returns for the applicable tax year," said Susan Brewer, director of Financial Aid. " It is best to apply for aid after the tax returns have been filed so that the correct information can be used on the FAFSA."

   Grants come in two categories, the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. The Federal Pell Grant provides financial assistance to students seeking a college education.  Federal Pell Grants may be combined with other forms of financial aid in order to meet the needs of the student.

   “(I) wouldn’t be here without (a Federal Pell Grant),” sophomore Courtney Hamilton said.

    The U.S. Department of Education primarily based the grant on a “financial need formula,” recipients do not pay granted money back. The FSEOG provides financial assistance to students who have exceptional financial need.

   Loans come in three different programs; the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the Federal Stafford Loan Program and the Federal Plus Loan Program.

   The Federal Perkins Loan Program provides a low-interest education loan, to
qualifying students, on the basis of financial need.  

  The Federal Stafford Loan Program provides either a subsidized or unsubsidized loan to students enrolled at least halftime. Subsidized loans help students who still need more to pay for school when all other types of aid have been rewarded. Students, who receive unsubsidized loan funds, have no remaining “unmet need”  after all other types of aid have been awarded. 

   The Federal Plus Loan Program makes loans available to the parents of dependent undergraduate students. Each borrower must use the loan funds to pay for student’s educational cost. The amount borrowed cannot exceed the cost of education.  Borrowers must complete the FAFSA and are not required to show financial need.  

   Part-time employment also provide students with employment opportunities. It provides students who qualify and need an income supplement to help cover college expenses.

   Student employment falls under two areas: Federal College Work-Study, determined on the basis of financial need, and the Institutional Work-Study, determined by the degree of work skills possessed and the availability of jobs. The different types of employment opportunities available include secretarial, clerical, custodial, resident assistant, library, maintenance, lab assistant, sports official and life guard. 

   The University of Arkansas at Monticello offers several types of scholarships for students to access including institutional, athletic, departmental and privately funded awards. Each type of scholarship lists requirements students must meet to receive them.  

   Every scholarship specifies different guidelines for the award and how to keep it.  Many students do not apply for some scholarships because they do not research it enough to do it. Some students apply to a scholarship only to find out they do not meet the criteria for the scholarship. 

   “When a student fills out an application they should know what they are doing,” said Mary Whiting, director of Admissions. 

   Whiting tries to help students by providing any information she possibly can for students. Many students often do not know about available scholarships.

    “One thing I noticed is that most students do not read their e-mails,” Whiting said. “If students read their e-mails and research the catalog and there are many scholarship opportunities available.” 

     Students who meet eligibility requirements by March 1 will receive priority consideration for scholarship awards.  After March 1 funds will be awarded based on available funds.

   Malea Hargett, chairman of scholarship committee for the Arkansas Press Women, said some students assume they won't get it.

   "The main point is to go out there and try, put some time into it and put it together, " Hargett said." Submit every thing at one time, if you can."  

 The Arkansas Press Women offers a  scholarship for male and female undergraduate students majoring in journalism or mass communications planning to make a career in either field. The Arkansas Press Women awards a $1,000 scholarship. In 2006, no one applied for the scholarship when it was split into two $500 scholarships.

    For more information on Financial Aid please read in your student handbook pages 21-28. If you have any questions please ask Susan Brewer about information on financial aid or Mary Whiting for scholarship information.


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ŠThe Voice 2007
Revised 09/17/2007 08:12:03 PM —