On-campus workshops available to help students apply for financial aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid’s state deadline is rapidly approaching as students scramble to ensure they will get the financial assistance that they need.

March 2 is the deadline that California has set for current or prospective students to submit their FAFSA, Cal Grant or California Dream Act applications.

“All of it’s pretty easy, pretty straight forward. I’ve never really run into any problems,” said Jamari Forte, 26, a nursing major.

The FAFSA requires students to input their personal information as well as the schools they will possibly attend and their tax information.

While some students have an easy time filing, others have trouble.

“It’s overly complicated,” said 21-year-old Evan Pacheco. “I have to fill it out on my own, but it still requires my parents’ information and that’s hard to get.”

Although Pacheco says getting his parents information isn’t easy, he said he still manages to file before the deadline.

Students who don’t file by March 2 do not lose their shot at financial aid completely, the date is just the priority deadline.

‘’The FAFSA application for the 2015-16 school year became available on January 1 and the priority deadline is March 2,’’ said financial aid officer Janet Alvarado in an email interview.

Cosumnes River College will be holding workshops on Feb. 27 and March 6 in Winn 153 to help students complete their documents.

“At the workshop, there are computers available for students to fill out the FAFSA application or the California Dream Act application and financial aid staff on hand to answer questions students might have as they go through the applications,” Alvarado said. “Students should make sure to bring their financial information from 2014, including their taxes and their parents’ taxes if they have already filed.”

Alvarado said that they hold a workshop after the deadline to remind students that they can still apply.

Several students said financial aid is critical to their ability to attend college.

“It’s the only way I can go to school,” Pacheco said.

Forte said it is how she pays for her school supplies.

“It’s really important because there is a lot of materials needed for like science courses,” Forte said.

19-year-old pre-nursing major Adrianna Sayers does not get financial aid, but wishes she did.

“I don’t get financial aid and I don’t get the BOGs [Board of Governors fee waiver] either which sucks,” Sayers said. “A lot of times I have to pay for my own or use my parents which sucks because it comes out to be really expensive.”

Sayers said she still fills out the FAFSA every year in hopes that “maybe one day it’s gonna change.”

To fill out the FAFSA application visit https://fafsa.ed.gov/, and for other financial aid help and information about workshops being held off campus Alvarado said to visit http://www.icanaffordcollege.com/