Students get opportunities for financial aid, jobs, from FAFSA


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By filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid–FAFSA–students can qualify for scholarships, tuition assistance and on-campus work-study jobs.

Zack Buster, Editor-in-Chief

The deadline for filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid––FAFSA––which is the first step to applying for financial aid, scholarships and on-campus job opportunities, is March 1.

AACC Financial Aid Director Tara Carew said the FAFSA “opens up doors” for students who fill it out, encouraging students to do so even if they think they don’t qualify for financial aid.

Some students say, “‘Well, I don’t think I’m going to be eligible for anything, so I’m not going to complete the FAFSA,’” Carew said, adding financial aid access isn’t just based on family income. 

As part of an ongoing process of simplifying the application process students this year will not have to answer questions about selective service status or past drug-related arrests. Next year, the form will be shorter––40 questions instead of more than 100. 

Students in good academic standing who fill out the FAFSA may be eligible for federal or state grants, loans and on-campus work-study positions. Those with a low grade-point-average, are dual-enrolled in high school and college, or are not signed up for at least six credits might not qualify for some of those benefits. 

Some students said the financial aid they received after filling out the FAFSA is crucial in helping fund their college career. 

First-year creative writing student Robert Rogers, who got his work-study job in the library after filling out the FAFSA, said every student should “capitalize on it,” adding it’s the reason why he is able to attend college.

“Without FAFSA, I would not be here at all,” Rogers said. “I would not have come here. I probably would be working in construction.”

Second-year computer engineering student Travis Smoot agreed, saying affording college would be impossible without the financial aid. 

Carew said while some students are hesitant to fill out the FAFSA because it is a time-consuming process, they still should complete it because “it could be very rewarding.”

Rogers agreed, adding that compiling the required tax information beforehand can help shorten the process.