Workshop simplifies financial process

Aide provides insight for completing FAFSA

By Salvador Godoy, Staff Writer

With one week left, college and high school students are pressed for time to fill out financial aid forms across the nation before the deadline is reached on March 2.

To prepare students and families, the Financial Aid Office held a Cash for College workshop in SSC-104 on Feb. 17.   

Attendees received professional assistance in filling out the 2016-17 FAFSA application and  answers for any questions or concerns.

Financial Aid Assistant Patricia Herrera said it is a great opportunity not only to first-generation college students who need help to fill out the FAFSA forms, but to low-income students.  

“We strongly encourage students and families to come and attend this special event and receive qualified assistance in filling out a student’s FAFSA application,” Herrera said.  

The California Cash  for College workshops also offer opportunities to determine a student’s eligibility toward scholarships and Cal Grants as well as assisting AB 540 students who are qualified for the California Dream Act application.

Students who arrived at the workshop signed their names to a sheet of paper before proceeding to file their FAFSA applications.

Spanish-language assistance was also provided at the workshop, to individuals who needed further help in their language to completing the FAFSA online forms.

Attendee Victor Guzman, who is new to the college, said he struggled to complete the federal tax information that is a part of the FAFSA application.

“There are several income questions in the tax section that I really don’t quite understand,” he said.

Guzman said while filing the FAFSA application it was a stressful procedure to handle.

Undecided major Cecilia Mora said she did not find filling out any of the forms to be a complex task in finishing the online financial aid forms.

“I didn’t find filling out any of the FAFSA forms to be stressful while completing the application,” she said.

Herrera said there is a lot of “skip logic” to the 2016-17 FAFSA application which is even faster this time.

She said past applications took about 25 to 30 minutes to fill out. Now, it takes about 20 minutes to complete the application.

Once students completed their applications at the event, a survey was given to students for  feedback about the quality of assistance.

The information is to determine on what could be improved for future Cash for College workshop events.