The March 1 priority deadline for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is quickly approaching. Assistant Director of Financial Aid Britney Finley gave more insight, tips on scholarship opportunities, and explanation behind the complication of paperwork.
According to the Office of Financial Aid, 98 percent of SHC students receive some form of financial aid. With only a certain amount of federal and state financial aid being available for students, Spring Hill College’s financial aid is typically based on submissions. This March 1 deadline only gives priority to students’ applications. In addition to FAFSA federal grants and loans, financial aid varies from scholarships to student employment.
Finley notes that a tip to stay on top of your finances is to always keep yourself informed. Found under the Finance tab on BadgerWeb, students have access to looking for outside scholarship opportunities. Finley said, “We keep an up-to-date report on outside scholarships that our students here have received and we keep that updated to let you know the deadlines or qualifications for any of those scholarships.”
In addition, Finley explained that a common misconception from students of qualifying to be independent is age. Excluding special circumstances, Finley said, “The only way the government qualifies students as independent is that if they are 24 years of age, married, dependent with a child, etc. But typically most of our students are dependent and they have to use their parent’s income information.”
For those students who may be wondering the difference between a loan or federal grant from FAFSA, federal grants do not have to be repaid. A student must demonstrate financial need to receive a grant in most circumstances. A student’s FAFSA application determines his or her grant eligibility. Loans are the “most affordable loans available to students with the lowest interest rates and deferred payments until after graduation,” according to Spring Hill College’s Financial Aid page.
To learn more about FAFSA or financial aid support, stop by the SHC Office of Financial Aid, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (251) 380-3460, or visit https://www.shc.edu/admissions/tuition-and-aid/.