Students needing financial aid urged to seek early

January 28, 2009
Students needing financial aid urged to seek funds early
Wednesday, January 28, 2009  

BULLHEAD CITY - The financial aid director at Mohave Community College is urging all students and potential students who will be seeking financial aid for the 2009-10 school year to start early in the application process.

High school seniors, potential students who plan to enter MCC in the fall and adults looking to begin or return for postsecondary classes - at MCC or any other college or university - should file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as one's income tax returns are complete; don't wait until they are filed, said Bill Osborn, MCC's director of financial aid. (J.D.'s comment: fill out the form with estimated numbers and get it in ASAP.)

Aid for the summer semester at MCC depends on the 2008-09 FAFSA and 2007 tax returns, Osborn said. Most colleges count summer terms as a trailer, meaning that if a student has not used up their financial aid in the fall and spring semester, there might be some available for summer.

This summer, rules will change and students may be eligible to receive more than two semesters of full-time Pell Grant funds in a single year, Osborn said. For students starting a program of study in the summer, two FAFSA forms will be required, the 2008-09 form utilizing 2007 tax returns for summer and the 2009-10 form and the 2008 tax return for fall.

Both applications are now available online at: www.fafsa.ed.gov. To complete the applications electronically, students and parents can obtain a PIN number at: www/pin.ed.gov.

“Besides getting an early jump on paperwork, it is important this year to apply early because some funds - like federal work study funds - are limited and go to students on a first-come, first-served basis,” Osborn said. “During the current school year, work study funds were awarded to students who had applied before Feb. 15, 2008. This is not a deadline, but with the availability of federal funds an unknown this year, the cliché ‘the early bird gets the worm' may be appropriate.

“As a result of the nation's economic conditions, many more students are finding the community colleges much more affordable for starting their higher education,” he said.

Financial aid offices on the MCC campuses are open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays through May 16. Summer hours begin May 19, when office hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The campuses are closed on Fridays during the summer.

original article posted here Mohave Daily News

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