Filling out an early FAFSA application benefits students

Sarah Bautista

Ruben Gonzalez is one of the student workers hosting the financial aid workshops in front of the library throughout the month of February and encourages students to fill out applications to receive financial aid.

“There are a couple reasons why students should fill out their applications early,” he said.

“One is because there are extra grants that are given out. The second is they will be able to get their funds on the first day of school and they won’t have to wait to purchase their books.”

When students submit their applications online by March 2, all they need to do is wait for their award letter to come in the mail.

There is also another added incentive to fill out an early FAFSA application.

Gonzalez adds, “We have financial aid awareness drawings. If (students) fill out the application early during the priority dates their names are entered into a drawing and they could either win a $500 dollar scholarship or a $100 dollar scholarship and we also give away Kindles.”

Liberal Arts major Samuel Udo-Udoma just received his financial aid Tuesday Feb. 5 and was very happy and relieved when it came in. “I was jumping up and dancing in my room, it was amazing. If I didn’t have financial aid I wouldn’t be able to get books or pay for my classes.”

Udo-Udoma continued, “It’s hard without financial aid, especially if you’re like me and you don’t have a job.

“My main expense is probably books for classes because they are not cheap at all.”

Other students like Zoology major Kyle Umeda do not qualify for financial aid.

Umeda says that it is a struggle to pay for books and other daily expenses. He has the help of his single mother, who pays for his classes.

“It’s not only the financial aid because if I got the fee waiver, that would be great too. But if I got the financial aid I wouldn’t have to worry about books or supplies and even commuting. It would help out a lot.”