Plan ahead for spring semester

Published 7:57 pm Thursday, August 27, 2009

Believe it or not, Fall Semester 2009 is now under way. Classes began Aug. 19. (Where did the summer go?) If you planned to attend this fall but missed the deadlines for applying for financial aid, you should start preparing for spring semester now.

Following is some helpful information from the College’s Office of Financial Aid.

Plan ahead for spring

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With classes starting Jan. 11, spring semester will be here before you know it, and Paul D. Camp Community College has a separate spring priority filing deadline for financial aid applications. That date is October 1, so act quickly to get your Free Application for Federal Student Aid filed.

The priority filing deadline is the date when the financial aid office starts processing applications for the upcoming semester. The earlier you apply, the better the financial aid offer you are likely to get. This is because the financial aid office has some smaller pots of money that are leftover from fall students who did not attend.

Financial aid coordinators reward eligible “early-bird” applicants by giving them those extra funds. If you have never attended before, be sure to apply for admission to the College at the same time. And if you attended more than three years ago, you will need to re-apply.

If you think you do not qualify for financial aid, remember that the rules change every year, and so do your taxes, upon which the FAFSA is based. The application process is free, so there is nothing to lose by trying.

Tips for applying

FAFSA is submitted electronically once a year to the Department of Education at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to use the right website.

Many financial aid and scholarship scams exist, including ones that ask you to pay to file the FAFSA online. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The official website is www.fafsa.ed.gov — NOT .com.

For more details on financial aid, call 569-6715. For information on other services and programs available at PDCCC, call 569-6700, or visit the website at www.pdc.edu.