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

Session assists in finding scholarship sources

By Lauren Jackson/reporter

A good education is priceless, but getting that education is not without cost, the NW director of financial aid said last week.

Trina Smith-Patterson explained the ways students can get their hands on financial funding for college during Show Me the Money, part of Student Success Days, Sept. 12.

The first step in getting financial aid, Smith-Patterson said, is to file the FAFSA application.

“ It’s first come, first serve,” she said. “The earlier a student submits the FAFSA, the more programs and funds are available.”

TCC processes and awards financial aid in the order in which the application and all requested documents are received. Students who wait until the last minute to request financial aid often receive less aid than others.

The hunt for free money does not end with the submission of the FAFSA, Smith-Patterson said. Billions of dollars in free educational funding are just waiting to be found.

The Department of Education estimated $83 million in financial funding last year.

Major companies like Coca-Cola, Tylenol, Target and Wal-mart offer private scholarships, each with its own criteria.

Students hunting for financial help also can check within their communities for churches, community organizations and civic groups that offer scholarships to qualifying applicants.

Another way to find funds is to check in the library’s scholarship books or in the financial aid office’s scholarship guide.

“ Check with the financial aid office and ask about any scholarships that may be available,” she said.

It may seem like a lot of work, but a paid education is well worth it, Smith-Patterson said.

Once a student finds and receives financial aid, it is the student’s obligation to remain eligible.

Every school is required to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, and students receiving financial aid must meet the standards specified in their school’s SAP.

These standards can include keeping a high enough GPA, completing a certain number of hours enrolled and falling within a particular time frame.

Smith-Patterson said help is always available.

“ My commitment to you goes past 9 to 5 and continues even when you leave TCC,” she said. “E-mail me. I am an insomniac, so I am always checking my e-mails.”

Contact Smith-Patterson at For financial aid resources, visit, or

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