Student Voice

Complete your financial aid application early for peace of mind

Colby+Parry%2C+23%2C+a+student+worker+at+the+financial+aid+desk%2C+assists+a+student+with+scheduling+an+appointment+in+Fountain+Hall%2C+on+April+12%2C+2018.+Those+who+manage+the+financial+aid+desk+usually+see+students+before+they+visit+a+financial+aid+specialist.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt
Colby Parry, 23, a student worker at the financial aid desk, assists a student with scheduling an appointment in Fountain Hall, on April 12, 2018. Those who manage the financial aid desk usually see students before they visit a financial aid specialist. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Colby Parry, 23, a student worker at the financial aid desk, assists a student with scheduling an appointment in Fountain Hall, on April 12, 2018. Those who manage the financial aid desk usually see students before they visit a financial aid specialist. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Colby Parry, 23, a student worker at the financial aid desk, assists a student with scheduling an appointment in Fountain Hall, on April 12, 2018. Those who manage the financial aid desk usually see students before they visit a financial aid specialist. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Stephanie Lamore

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Students are encouraged to take advantage of these last few weeks in the semester to turn in their financial aid application for this fall.

Over 2.3 million applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) were completed for the 2017-2018 school year, according to a report done by the official federal student aid government-run website. If you submit an application now for the upcoming year, you can join more than 400,000 students who have checked that task off their to-do list and can relax a bit more this summer.

“We give priority to people who submit their application by mid-May,” said Kimberly Korinke, Moorpark College’s Financial Aid Officer. “If you do have everything in by mid-May, our guarantee is that everything will be ready by the first week of August.”

Taking care of the application before summer can also save you the headache of not being able to receive your financial aid package until the fall semester is already underway. According to Korinke, a late financial aid application could mean that you have to pay $15 to set up a payment plan that you may not even need. You also would have to begin making payments on this payment plan.

“That’s money out of students’ pockets until they get everything taken care of,” said Korinke. “Our biggest rush is July 15 to September 15. We still process those applications, but they will be delayed because we don’t hire extra staff, and when 4000 students apply at the last minute, it takes awhile.”

If you have already submitted the FAFSA, do not sit back and rest just yet – there is more to a complete financial aid application. The FAFSA is just the first step.

“If contacted by the Financial Aid Office, you must submit all additionally requested documents to complete your file as soon as possible,” states the Financial Aid section of Moorpark College’s website. “Documents requested may include, but are not limited to: federal tax transcript, W-2 forms and proof of other untaxed income or benefits.”

After you have given the Financial Aid Office everything they have requested, you can now simply wait to hear what type of aid you will be offered. This information will be available through your student portal and you will receive an email when it is ready to view. Types of federal aid that students can be awarded are grants, loans, and work-study. Grants do not need to be repaid, loans do need to be repaid with interest, and work-study offers students the opportunity to have a job in order to help pay expenses.

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Rowella Stofka works on her computer within the financial aid offices in Fountain Hall, on April 12, 2018. Stofka has been a financial aid specialist at Moorpark College for two years. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Over 50 percent of Moorpark College’s students receive some form of financial aid, according to Korinke. In addition to the three types of federal aid, there is a new grant from the state of California called the ‘Community College Completion Grant’. This grant was created to encourage students to more quickly finish their degree or earn their certificate. It is available to students who complete at least 30 units per year.

“If a student took 12 units in the fall and 12 units in the spring, they would just need to enroll in six more units to get additional money,” said Korinke.

For more information, check out the college’s website at http://www.moorparkcollege.edu/departments/student-services/financial-aid. You can also visit the Financial Aid Office in Fountain Hall next to the Student Business Office.

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