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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

A pro who knows-Trina Patterson

Trina Patterson, director of financial aid on NW Campus
Trina Patterson, director of financial aid on NW Campus
Trina Patterson, director of financial aid on NW Campus
Trina Patterson, director of financial aid on NW Campus

Trina Patterson, director of financial aid on NW Campus, shares her advice on how to obtain financial aid.

Q: How much money is available for financial aid at TCC?
Each year the amount may change, due to how many students apply, how many remain eligible and the allocation of funds from our federal and state sources. Last academic year, we paid over $31 million in financial aid through various grants, scholarships and loans.

Q: Are there any alternatives for students whose income (or parents’ income) is too high for them to qualify for federal aid? 
Yes.  Some scholarships are based on merit only and do not require a student to demonstrate financial aid eligibility, and students who do not qualify for a grant or scholarship can always apply for a student loan.

Q: What is the first step for someone to apply for aid, and what are the deadlines?
This first step to qualify for any type of aid through TCC is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  This can be done electronically by going to the government Web site www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA is available in January each year for the following fall semester. Students should apply no later than the third week of February in order to guarantee that the student will be considered for all financial aid programs available. At the latest, a student should apply at least three months before the aid is needed. However, we are allocated only a certain amount of state grant funding; therefore, it will go to first-come, first-served students based on their eligibility.

Q:  What are the requirements for students to qualify for and maintain financial aid?
Different awards will have different criteria, but the general qualifications for most grants are as follows:
Have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent; U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen; enroll for an eligible degree or certificate program; enroll in at least six hours for most programs; not be convicted of an offense involving a controlled substance; register for Selective Service (male students); not owe a refund on federal grant or be in default on a loan; maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Q: What is a good resource for students who want to learn more about student loans, scholarships and grants?
A student can always come to the financial aid office on any campus or refer to our Web site at www.tccd.edu/finaid.  If students have particular questions regarding financial aid, they can e-mail fahelp@tccd.edu.

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