Financial aid available for PDCCC

Published 9:09 pm Thursday, April 1, 2010

Paul D. Camp Community College Financial Aid Coordinator Teresa Harrison reports good news: Last year’s stimulus package included an increase in Federal Pell Grant funding, and students attending this summer can get a full-time Pell Grant, even if they were full-time in fall and spring semesters.

Summer semester awarding is under way, but there is still time to file a 2009-10 Free Application for Federal Student Aid by the April 23 priority filing date using 2008 federal taxes.

IP employees/family

For students who are International Paper employees or family members, a number of programs are available to help pay for tuition, fees, and books.

Most IP employees are covered under the Trade Act, and both free financial aid and Trade Act grants can be received during the same semester. If an IP student chooses to wait and use the Trade Act to obtain a higher degree, then Pell Grant, Opportunity Inc (WIA funds), or the new On Ramp Grant are possible payment options.

Some IP employees may think they are ineligible for Pell Grant due to their earnings. While 1040 taxes as filed must be used to complete the FAFSA, students affected by the IP closure are encouraged to file an Appeal for Unusual Circumstances to see if the loss of income results in Pell Grant eligibility. Call the Office of Financial Aid for further information.

Following are more tips from Harrison.

Federal financial aid filing

For fall semester, beginning Aug. 19, Harrison advises eligible students to complete the 2010-11 FAFSA by the priority filing deadline: June 1. The earlier students apply, the better the financial aid offer they are likely to get. The Financial Aid Office has some smaller pots of money that deplete quickly and rewards eligible “early- bird” applicants by awarding them those extra funds.

The FAFSA is submitted once a year to the Department of Education electronically, at www.fafsa.ed.gov. A computer is available in the financial aid offices in Franklin and Suffolk, if filing help is needed. No appointment is necessary; students just need to bring tax information during normal office hours: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. – noon on Friday. Allowing at least 30 minutes for the application process.

Students filing on their own are should make sure to use the right Web site. Many financial aid/ scholarship scams exist, including ones that ask applicants to pay for filing the FAFSA online. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The official website is www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Before starting, each student applicant should obtain a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov

to speed up the process. If parental information is required, one parent must

also apply for and use his/her own PIN to sign the application. The PIN is the applicant’s

electronic signature.

Required information for applying include the applicant’s PIN number to sign; copy of applicant’s 2009 federal taxes; copy of spouse’s federal taxes (if applicable); copy of parent’s federal taxes (if applicable); copies of W-2 form(s), if worked and did not file taxes; Social Security numbers; Driver’s license; and school codes. Untaxed income including child support received, worker’s compensation, and Veterans non-education benefits are also required to be reported on the FAFSA, but not TANF or Social Security benefits.

Some aid is available only if the applicant’s GPA is at a certain minimum, or if he/she has an Advanced Studies Diploma.

For more details on financial aid, call 569-6715 or 925-6346.

Dr. Patsy Joyner is the vice president for Institutional Advancement at PDCCC.