Financial Aid Fair informs students of FAFSA applications

Leo+Lopez%2C+financial+aid+technician%2C+goes+over+the+steps+on+how+to+apply+for+FAFSA.+The+deadline+to+apply+for+FAFSA+is+March+2.+Photo+credit%3A+Nicholas+Johnson

Leo Lopez, financial aid technician, goes over the steps on how to apply for FAFSA. The deadline to apply for FAFSA is March 2. Photo credit: Nicholas Johnson

Nicholas Johnson

The Financial Aid Department had their annual Financial Aid Awareness Fair to promote the 2018-19 school year FAFSA and answer general questions about financial aid.

The event took place in front of the library on Wed. Oct 11 at 3 p.m.

Students checked in and answered questions and turn in a paper for a raffle to enter, which they must be present for in order to win a prize.

There weren’t that many students, which made the process easier for counselors to go over things quickly.

Free food such as nachos, chips, music, games and prizes were offered to anyone who attended the fair.

Counselors went over the steps on how to apply for financial aid.

The steps are:

  • Create an FSA ID that requires a username and password.
  • Check to do list to see if there are certains forms that are required.
  • Submit forms such as tax information, IRS tax retrieval and other important documents.
  • Review your awards by logging on to my.cerritos.edu and check to see what awards has been offered and how much money the school will provide for you.
  • Receive your refund by checking the mail and looking for a Bank Mobile credit card.

The counselors did the first raffle and the winner was Charles Martinez.

They went over how many units are needed for students to get their fafsa money and how their fafsa is determined by different options.

Counselors also mentioned if students do not do their fafsa on time, their awards can take longer to come and students should apply for scholarships as well.

However, they mentioned how students can earn additional money by joining the Cal Grant Program which has specific requirements.

The requirements are students must attend school part-time, maintaining a satisfactory progress and meet income and asset ceilings.

The Cal Grant only pays for students who attend college for the first two years.

Jenny Mejia, financial aid technician, mentioned that the fair is the best way to connect with students.

“To me it’s the best way to get the word out for students to have the possibility of getting money for college so no one has to pay out of pocket,” Mejia said.

Leo Lopez, financial aid technician, said he thinks the fair was a good turnout and success and that the main goal is to promote fafsa for next year.

He mentioned that the event is beneficial because students who do their FAFSA ahead of time can get their money in time and avoid having to deal with a long line in the first week of college.

Jason Lopez, federal work study student, said, “It is good for students to be aware of how they can get financial aid.”

Kimberly Munoz, work study student, says, “It’s a good way to promote the new FAFSA application because people are not active and they are shy to come to the office and the fair is more convenient and reliable for students.”

Devyne Escobar, financial aid staff and student, said that the workshops are helpful for students who are unaware about how to fill out a FAFSA application especially with new students attending college and not knowing enough information about FAFSA.

The winner for the last raffle was Scherre Murray.

There will be more Financial Aid fairs in the spring between Feb. and April.