The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Director leads students through financial aid

By Steven Long/reporter

Students learned a hands-on approach to federal aid, scholarships and student loans at Financial Aid for College Success April 3 on South Campus.

Financial aid director Jolynn Sprole explained the differences between loans, scholarships and grants. She also discussed many financial aid myths.

Sprole said the Federal Application For Student Aid is the starting point for any type of financial aid. She addressed some of the scam operations that trick students into paying money for financial aid.

“ Do not let someone charge you money to fill out the form,” she said. “If you go to a Web site and it costs $29, you are on the wrong Web site. We will fill this form out for you free of charge.”

FAFSA Day is 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, on South Campus. Advisors will be on hand in the Student Center to assist students who are unsure about how to fill out their FAFSA forms.

Once students fill out and submit a FAFSA, they will find out if they are eligible for the Pell Grant. Even students who do not qualify for the Pell have several options for other types of grants.

“ If you do not qualify for the Pell, do not stop working with us, because you do qualify for other grants,” Sprole said.

Students can pick up a financial aid brochure in any financial aid office. The brochure contains a list of grants and also outlines TCC’s work-study program and subsidized and unsubsidized student loans.

Sprole explained the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. She said the subsidized loan is the best of the two loans.

“ The subsidized loan is interest free as long as you’re enrolled for six or more hours,” she said. “The loan stays interest free until six months after you’ve been out of school, and that’s when the interest starts building.”

Starting next year, the freshman subsidized loan limit will be $3,500. It does not require a credit check; the loan is awarded based on need as shown by the FAFSA.

Unsubsidized student loans differ from subsidized loans because interest begins building immediately after the loan is received.

Sprole said students should be wary when taking out loans because the interest can build quickly if they cannot make payments.

“ You can easily get out of school owing 65 or 80 thousand with a bachelor’s degree.”

Students are required to attend loan counseling before taking out loans.

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