Student Voice

Financial aid help offered at Cash for College Workshop Feb. 10

By Stephanie Lamore

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Financial aid deadlines are approaching and the Moorpark Financial Aid Office is here to make the application process easier for students and parents.

On Saturday, Feb. 10, one of the two yearly free Cash for College workshops will be offered across the Ventura County Community College District, with an onsite location at Moorpark College’s Fountain Hall Atrium.

Both current students and applicants to the college can meet with members of the Financial Aid office and together navigate their tax situation and apply for the FAFSA and the California Dream Act. The number of students receiving financial aid nationally has been slowly trending upward, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics.

“Over fifty percent of Moorpark’s students receive some form of financial aid,” said Kimberly Korinke, the college’s Financial Aid Officer. “This is a great opportunity for students to review their current financial situation.”

Cash for College workshops are offered at Moorpark twice per year, in October and February. Attendance can range from between 30-50, to close to 100 students, according to Korinke.

“We watch the local high schools and try not to have our workshops conflict with other events,” Korinke said. “For example, we won’t schedule them when schools are offering the PSAT.”

Though the federal tax law was recently updated, Korinke does not anticipate this affecting students’ financial aid in the near future.

“The tax returns that FAFSA deals with are from two years prior,” Korinke said, “so this won’t be affected for awhile.”

In addition to workshops offering help with financial aid applications, Cash for College is also offering two workshops touching on more general personal finance. The Ventura County Credit Union has partnered with Moorpark College to offer two one hour workshops called “Personal Finance for College Students” and “Drive Away Happy – Car Buying Decisions”.

“We have worked with community college districts for some time,” said Natalie Yanez, Director of Community Partnerships at the credit union. “This is my first time at Moorpark, but we’ve been doing this throughout the county for years.”

Yanez will be presenting the two additional workshops and notes that they have a wider application, since anyone can benefit from them whether or not they are applying for financial aid.

“The target audience is any stage, not just young adults,” Yanez said. “This is great info for anyone to take away. It’s about improving your own financial well-being.”

Korinke agrees that the topics selected have a broad appeal.

“This is our first time partnering with the credit union,” Korinke said. “They’re providing these workshops free of charge. We tried to pick topics that would be interesting to college students.”

Though many students may have other plans for a Saturday afternoon, Yanez encourages everyone to at least stop by for a short time.

“People tell me they wish they’d known this stuff earlier,” Yanez said. “If you have a good handle on your finances at an early age, it sets you up for success later in life.”

For more information, stop by the Financial Aid Office or visit www.vcccd.edu/cash4college.

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