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

South speaker explains financial aid

By Preston Luebbehusen/reporter

Students needing financial aid for next year should reapply soon, the South financial aid director said April 8.

During Financial Aid for College Success, part of the Women in New Roles’ spring seminar series, Jolynn Sprole said the May 1 priority deadline needed to be met by students wishing to be considered for all available funds. After that deadline, she said, funds would be first-come, first-served with whatever was left.

The process begins with students filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which she said the financial aid staff can assist in completing it. Once they have applied, they will have different kinds of monies to help them pay for school.

“Student loans are very dangerous,” she said. “You’ve got to think, ‘What about tomorrow?’”

Depending on the hours for which students enroll and their estimated family contribution, freshmen can qualify for nearly $10,000 in student loans their first year, Sprole said.

“And if that student is in remedial classes, how many credits will they have after that year? None!” she said.

Sprole warned that loans can add up quickly and are easy to get. Many lenders offer money to people with no or bad credit, often without a co-signer needed.

“There is a maximum of $56,000 at TCC, and we have students right now who have hit that limit!” she said.

TCC students must graduate with an associate degree within three years or their loans will become unsubsidized, meaning they will begin to rack up interest while the student is still in school, Sprole said. And should the loans go unpaid, the government can garnish wages, pull tax return funds, revoke licenses such as those required for lawyers and ministers, and even claim lottery winnings until the loans are paid off.

Therefore, Sprole spoke about the importance of looking for grants and scholarships, which are not paid back. The Pell Grant alone can award up to $2,800 per semester to students who qualify, but Sprole said it is also the hardest to get.

On a local level, TCC has 128 scholarships available, all of which can be applied for with one single application, including one essay and two references. The deadline for next year is April 24. TCC also awards a $2,500-per-year grant for STEM majors.

“Look for something local,” she said. “Your chances are much better” because the pool of competition is smaller.

The discussion of scholarships was not without words of warning. Sprole said students should do their research if they are asked for Social Security numbers and other personal information.

“Be careful to work with legitimate organizations,” she said. “You should also never have to pay to apply for a scholarship.”

Sprole’s final suggestion for ways to get money for school was to consider Work-Study programs, which provide a regular paycheck as well as work experience and references for future job applications.

“We can’t schedule you for more than 19.5 hours a week,” she said. “We won’t change your work schedule on you, and you’ll never have to miss class to go to work.”

The seminar wrapped up with an overview of a newly enforced federal policy that takes effect this summer, stating that financial aid will be available only for courses that are a part of a student’s on-file degree plan. She told students to make sure they have a degree plan on file and stick to it to avoid missing out on needed aid.

Financial Aid 

Office Hours 

8 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday–Thursday

9 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday

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