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

Financial aid specialist tells students to apply early

By Linah Mohammad/reporter

The website Credit.com said that most scams “are successful because they play on people’s emotions, whether they be fear, greed, desperation or concern,” a SE financial aid specialist told students Sept. 10.

Applying early and following up will get students more money, Robert Young said during his Financial Aid Awareness talk.

“A lot of students are victims of scam websites that make you give your credit card number or ask for a processing fee when applying for scholarships,” he said. “You should not have to pay to try to get money for school.”

Young said students should take the initiative to keep track of their financial situation.
“Your TCC email is your best friend. I promise you,” he said. “Get in the habit of checking your email at least once a week. Most departments contact you using your school email.”
Many TCC students also qualify for grants, Young said. Students should apply early.

“It’s first come, first-served,” he said. “Money runs out.”

Young cited the Texas Grant, the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant and the federal work-study program as examples of areas students can apply for financial aid.
“Students who apply early get twice the money,” he said.

However, Young said, Pell Grants are available no matter when a student completes an application.

Young said students need to follow up once they have submitted their applications. Because of government cutbacks, some student financial aid is drying up, he said. For instance, there is now a cap of six years for receiving financial aid, he said.

Students should be cautious about applying for loans, Young said.

“Some students use their loans like an ATM machine,” he said. “Even if loans seem like a nice short-term fix, they are going to come back and bite you. Request to meet your needs not your wants.”

Young listed several points students should follow:
Never search for scholarships on Yahoo or Google and trust what comes up.

Apply for scholarships using well-known companies’ websites such as Coca Cola, Dr Pepper or Wal-Mart.

Sign up for a new email specifically for scholarships because they can flood an inbox with emails, and students don’t want that in their everyday email.

Do not sign up for credit cards.

Achieve satisfactory academic progress.

Abria Dixon, a SE psychology major, said it can pay to fill out financial aid forms early.

“In the beginning of February, that’s when you apply for your FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid], and I always waited until after May to apply,” Dixon said.

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