Financial aid funds futures

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Students wait in a hour-long line for Financial Aid service last semester.

Chris Ealy

The use of knowledge and information is key to getting money to fund your education. The more you know about Financial Aid and Scholarships, the more prepared you are.

Los Medanos College provides services to help students pay for school through the Scholarship and Financial Aid offices. LMC also provides online information about financial aid and scholarships at losmedanos.edu.

Federal, state, and private funds can be awarded to students who qualify. The funds can be used for fees, books, supplies, room/board and transportation costs.

The Federal Pell Grant program is an entitlement award and the largest federal grant program but can only be received from one institution per term.

The Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver for eligible California residents assists students with mandatory enrollment fees for the entire academic year. It covers the current in-state full term cost of $46 per unit and there is no limit to the number of units that are covered by the program.

To start the process, complete a free application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA). Among the things students should know as a financial aid recipient:

There are consequences in the form of repayment if you withdraw from all of your classes before you have completed 60 percent of the semester.

You must reapply for financial aid each year.

Grants are disbursed to you by check on the designated disbursement dates.

Work-study funds must be earned and are paid monthly according to your hourly rate of pay and the number of hours you work.

In addition the LMC website suggests you familiarize yourself with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. “You may potentially lose eligibility if you do not successfully complete all of your courses; exceed the total number of units allowed for your degree, certificate, or transfer program; or if your GPA falls below a 2.0. If you feel you have

circumstances which may impact your eligibility, make an appointment with your Financial Aid Coordinator to discuss special circumstance.”

Scholarships on the other hand, are won. According to the Scholarships Coordinator Claudia Acevedo, taking advantage of these financial opportunities can help students offset the cost of school yet too few students do.

“Not enough students are applying for scholarships. In fact, sadly too many scholarships go unclaimed because students are not applying,” she said.

There is no limit to the number of scholarships students can apply for, so long as they meet all of the requirements. In addition to eligibility requirements, students may also be asked to submit other documents, such as an essay, letters of recommendation, and/or a copy of an academic transcript.

According to the LMC website every year scholarship providers skip over applications if they are incomplete. To assure the application you submit will be considered, LMC suggest you follow these simple rules: apply only if you qualify, keep your application neat, answer all questions, include all required documents and be aware of deadlines. The LMC website contains information on three types of LMC Associated Students scholarships, 32 other types and 23 resources to help students find money.

For more information on scholarships contact, Claudia Acevedo at cacevedo@losmedanos.edu. For more information on Financial Aid contact Loretta Canto-Williams at lcantowilliams@losmedanos.edu.