Workshop helps applicants get free money

Cash for College immerses students in filing process

By Nora Alkrizy, Staff Writer

The Cash for College workshop is designed to connect students to financial aid and will be hosted at Contra Costa College in the Student Services Center  today.

The workshop, set for Feb. 17, will start at 4:30 p.m., offering students and their families the opportunity to obtain professional assistance with filling out their FAFSA applications or answering any questions.

With the deadline for 2016-17 FASFA nearing, Contra Costa College students are immersed in the financial aid process.

Financial Aid Assistant Patricia Herrera said the workshop is a good opportunity for students and their families to get step-by-step assistance.

Cash for College workshops are designed to assist first generation college students and students from low income families in the application process so they can pursue their education and career/technical goals.

“This workshop is open to anyone on campus who needs assistance in the financial aid process,” Herrera said.

The workshop not only encompasses the financial aid application process, it offers students and attendees assistance with the California Dream Act application.

The workshop doesn’t stop at assisting students filing their financial aid applications, it goes on to examine student’s eligibility for other types of Cal Grants and scholarships.

A Cal Grant provides money for undergraduates and students in vocational or certificate programs that doesn’t have to be paid back.

The workshops will help students and families prepare for college by providing application resources and assistance while completing and submitting their applications.

“CCC has been reaching out and hosting this workshop in high schools in the past,” Herrera said. “But for the first time in a very long time, this workshop will be offered here at the college.”

The Cash for College workshop has assisted high school seniors and their families in the college’s service area with filling out their FAFSA applications.

“A high school student being expected to fill out the financial aid application is pretty demanding,” Gabriel Baca, undecided, said.

Baca said he too was a former high school student who was expected to fill out the FASFA on his own.

“I would have loved to attend a workshop that assisted me with my overwhelming application process,” he said.

In order to qualify students must have their Social Security number ready, she said.

A most recent Federal Tax form such as 1040 W-2 or bank statements will also need to be at hand while at the Cash for College workshop.

Herrera said the information will not be shared with anyone, but it is needed when completing the forms.

The workshop is open to all students, potential students and community members.

“Many staffers from the financial aid office will be there ready to meet the needs of the students, families and community members that will be attending the workshop,” she said.