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Free Financial Aid Workshop at Merced College

January 18, 2006

With approximately 70% of full time college students nationwide receiving some form of financial aid, it becomes very important to make sure that, as a student, you have all the financial aid information available to you in order to succeed in college.

And be aware; even if you don’t qualify for financial aid, students are still required to fill out the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid,” commonly known as “FAFSA,” in order to apply for federal low-interest student loans and even certain scholarships. So don’t hesitate to fill out that application. However, the thought of applying for financial aid can be intimidating to many students and their parents. Where to go? How to fill out the application? What happens after you submit the FAFSA? The path to financial aid can seem like a huge maze. But with over $120 billion in student financial aid given to U.S. college students each year, perseverance is rewarded.

Because it is the goal of local financial aid professionals to see every student succeed, the Financial Aid Offices at Merced College and UC Merced, in collaboration with Merced County Cal-SOAP Program, will hold a free financial aid workshop for students and their parents. Furthermore, one student who attends this “Cash For College” workshop and completes an evaluation form will win a $1,000 scholarship!

This FAFSA workshop will be held Sat. Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. in the Merced College Cafeteria. Sessions will be held both in English and Spanish and Hmong translation will be available. Financial Aid staff will walk you step by step through the completion of your FAFSA form for the Fall 2006/Spring 2007 school year. They will supply the FAFSAs and will also explain how to file your FAFSA online.

In order to complete the process, all students and their parents should bring the following:

  • Student’s Social Security card and driver’s license;
  • Parents’ Social Security cards or numbers;

Federal income tax return from 2005 (for student and both parents). If you have not filed 2005 taxes, you can estimate using 2004 figures;

  • If you had a job in 2005, your W-2 forms (or Dec. pay stub);
  • Records of other untaxed income received such as welfare benefits, Social Security benefits, TANF, veteran’s benefits, or military or clergy allowances;
  • If you have a bank account, your 2005 bank statements;
  • If you have stocks, bonds, or other investments for 2005, their net worth;
  • If applicable, business or farm records;
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, your alien registration card and the date it was issued;
  • Any other immigration documentation; and
  • A list of colleges and universities you are interested in attending. And, don’t forget to bring a pen and pencil.

If you don’t have or cannot find any of these items, you are encouraged to attend anyway, so a counselor can help you get started on the application process.

Take advantage of this free workshop because students in California need to file their FAFSA by March 2 to be considered for the Cal Grant.

For more information, call 384-6031 or 384-6038.

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