Raising Awareness for Financial Aid

The Cerritos College Financial Aid Office hosted the second of its four part fair in order to help raise awareness for students on different aspects of financial aid on Thursday, Feb. 13 in between the library and the office.

“Basically we’re trying to make sure that students around the Cerritos (College) campus are aware of all of their financial aid opportunities,” Rio Medina, the outreach coordinator for the financial aid office, said.

“What this is, is that if you come into our game zone and complete all of our games that we have out there, then you are able to get a gift bag, a snack and you get to spin the wheel for some extra cool financial aid gear, which includes a draw string bag, a USB drive, some highlighters and pens.

“Now, if you don’t complete all three games you still get a gift bag and you still get a snack.”

As students walked down the sidewalk, Medina tried to recruit some of them in order to play the game. Although many students were hesitant, there were a few who got up the courage to play.

Stephanie Puertas, an international business administration major, took her chances at winning the prizes being offered at the game day fair.

“It’s very helpful to be informed with everything that’s going on around campus and be more knowledgeable with how to apply for the different [levels] of FAFSA,” Puertas said.

Puertas, who already receives financial aid, went on to add that she learned the two different types of money she could receive whether that be federal or state money.

Puertas wasn’t the only one who learned something new.

Xavier Jones, a physical therapy major who is a recipient of financial aid said, “I learned that with the Pell Grant I could get all of my school paid for, including my books and I didn’t know that.”

Cerritos College is not the only campus around the state of California that are hosting this event. According to Medina, campuses throughout the state, including four year colleges, private schools and community colleges, are going to make sure that all students are aware of all of their financial aid opportunities.

This will take place from February until May 15.

It is a statewide attempt to help students who could be struggling to pay for school tuition and supplies for their classes.

Each school will not be hosting the same event as game day, though.

Workshops and events similar to the one being held at Cerritos College will be available for students to attend to get the information they need.

Within our California state government a program called CSAC, the California Student Aid Commission, took the initiative to ask all of the colleges to host an event in order to help students become aware of their opportunities that they could be missing out on.

Vanessa Flores, a nursing major, said “I learned what LEU is; It’s a form of Pell Grant, which is more money that will be offered for more years.”

Flores, who won a T-shirt from the fair, went on to add that she found the fair helpful because she could receive more money that would help her full-time status.

This is not the last event that the financial aid office will be hosting. The next event will take place on Tuesday , February 18th, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. In front of the library.