Financial Aid Awareness Day melds grants, fun

Staffers, attendees showcase desire to succeed in pursuit of transfer, life goals


Denis Perez / The Advocate

Nicholas Kavuina plays the Go Fish Toss in one of the game booths that were part of Financial Aid Awareness Day event held outside of the Student Service Center on February 3, 2016.

By Yesenia Melara, Staff Writer

The third annual Financial Aid Awareness Day introduced students to resources on campus at the Student Services Center Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m on Feb. 3.

Contra Costa College students were introduced to financial aid resources and programs available in informational booths and games. There were six booths during the event.

“There are a variety of services here today that a low income student should know about,” Dean of Students Vicki Ferguson said, “The percentage of (CCC) students who filled out the FAFSA last year was 50 percent. This year our goal is 80 percent.”

Financial Aid Specialist John Vehikite was at a booth letting students know about upcoming financial aid events, financial aid application deadlines, answering general financial aid questions and promoting their financial aid through social media.

Nicole Garza, nursing major, said she received valuable information as she stopped by each table. Garza said she didn’t know much about the services and programs the Financial Aid Office have to offer.

She said that it is important to make more events like this one so new students can be aware of the opportunities available on campus.

Sana Smith, DSPS student worker, said students will get information faster than they would if they were to walk into the office.

Financial Aid Assistant Patricia Herrera said it is the first time that they organized the event during spring semester.

The financial aid staff partnered with Police Services and the ASU — who helped them by purchasing the pizzas.

Corporal Tom Holt said he and his team approached the ASU.

“We want to be able to connect more with the students so we thought the Financial Aid Awareness Day event would be a great way to get to know them,” Holt said.

He said he supports students making use of financial aid as it is a pathway to academic success.

The Financial Aid Office made the event fun and informational for students through trivia games. Financial Aid Assistant Stephanie Lamar was responsible for conducting the trivia games. When the students answered the questions wrong she made sure to tell them the correct answer so students had the right information.

“We want students to always get payed, we want them to get the money,” Lamar said.

Students also got rewarded for learning about the available resources and programs. If a student collected six stickers from each table they could trade them in for a food ticket and a chance to enter their names down for a raffle.

Destiney Yenchay, computer information system major, said “bringing food is a good way to bring the crowd in.”

“It’s beneficial and helps students find financial aid,” she said.

Holt said they wanted to come up with a slogan for the pizzas.

“Instead of being coffee with the cop, we thought of being pizza with the cop.”

Lamar said that they had good feedback from students.