Financial Aid office provides students advice

By Christina Horta

Students were given financial aid information at the town hall meeting on Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. in front of the E3 building.

The event was able to provide different types of financial aid sources available. Several financial aid assistants from the Financial Aid Office were present to answer questions recording the application process and more.

Handouts with basic information about financial aid was provided. Jose Cortez, an assistant from the financial aid office, stressed the importance of applying before the deadline.

“There are less funds if you miss the deadline. If you apply earlier, you may possibly get a Pell Grant, Cal Grant and different grants that we have. If you apply late, they may run out,” Cortez said.

This year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline was March 2. Students need to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements in order to qualify for any grant. Student must have a minimum 2 . 0 grade point average, complete at least 67 percent of total units attempted and have taken fewer than 90 units.

Additionally, students with an Associate of Arts degree, Associate of Science degree and a higher degree outside the Los Angeles Community College District will not qualify.

Stephanie Baca of the Financial Aid Office said that students can appeal their case, depending on their circumstance.”Some students have medical conditions. Whatever the reason was they had to drop, or causes them to have a low GPA, they will need to attach proof to the appeal packet. It goes through a review.

Then a supervisor will be the one to determine,” Baca said. Information was provided about the Pell Grant, which is a federal grant. Students get awarded based on financial need and enrollment status.

It is based off the student’s income. Students are limited to six full-time years of awards. A similar award is the Cal Grant, which is a state grant. This grant is based off a student’s GPA.

There are three types of Cal Grants, which are A, B and C. Cal Grant A provides financial aid assistance to students in the baccalaureate degree program at four-year universities.

Cal Grant B applies for those who attend community colleges. Cal Grant C applies for those who are enrolled in vocational programs. Information about a change to the financial aid website was given.

Kelly Hernandez, assistant from the financial aid office, said the new system will have improvements and that students won’t have to come to the office as often.

She said that the new system will allow the student to turn in verification forms, schedule appointments, check financial status’ and more. The system is exclusive for Los Angeles Community College District schools, and will be effective this upcoming fall.

The event also provided students with a scavenger hunt worksheet in order to encourage students to be active and ask questions.

Prizes such as T-shirts or USB drives were given out. The event was sponsored by the financial aid office

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