On the opportunity ladder towards higher learning and skill development, and future career success, financial aid for college offers many families and students a vital leg up. To qualify for any federal college financial aid program — and for most state and institutional aid opportunities — students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). And as the holidays approach, FAFSA deadlines in West Virginia are coming soon for priority consideration: March 1 for the PROMISE scholarship, and April 15 for the WV Higher Education Grant Program.
“But some grant opportunities are available on a ‘first-come/first-served basis’, so students should complete the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible,” said Amanda Sites, financial aid director at Eastern WV Community and Technical College. For Tucker County graduating seniors and/or their parents, Sites will lead a FAFSA information and advice session Tuesday, December 3, starting at 6:00 pm, at Tucker County High School.
At this “nuts-and-bolts meeting,” Sites will offer a thorough presentation of the hows-and-whys of college financial aid for the coming year, including financial aid options, programs, and the application process. “The main emphasis will be on changes to the FAFSA,” she noted. “Some portions are quite different than years past.”
Families and students need not be applying to Eastern to attend, participate and benefit, Sites emphasized. “Many questions are asked, and guidance is available to all. This is a workshop open to anyone and everyone who would like information about financial aid and completing the FAFSA.”
Even for families who believe that they may not qualify for federal aid, completing a FAFSA is still important, Sites pointed out, “because in West Virginia the FAFSA serves as the qualifying application for such state aid as the PROMISE scholarship and the WV Higher Education Grant Program.”
If a Sunday meeting is more convenient, she said, families can find additional FAFSA support at the ‘College Goal Sunday FAFSA Workshop for Anyone’ on February 9, 2014, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at several locations across the state, including Potomac State College in Keyser and Davis and Elkins College in Elkins. Financial aid professionals will also be on site there to assist students and their families through the FAFSA process.
For more information about Eastern’s financial aid opportunities, programs of study, workforce training and community education and events, call toll free: 877-982-2322; or check the College’s website: