In last month’s issue of The Prospector, my opinion column contained incorrect information about Financial Aid. Below are quotes from the article with correct information following each quote.
“You could make too much for some forms of aid and not enough for others, landing you in the financial aid hell zone.” While this may be true for other colleges and universities, it is not for Yuba College. All forms of aid at Yuba College are need-based. This means that the amount of aid you receive is based on your Expected Family Contribution. The lower your EFC rating, the more aid you will be awarded, and vice versa.
“Financial aid is awarded to students only at certain times of the year.” This is true only for competitive grants, such as the Cal Grant, the Federal Work Study grant, and the FSEOG grant. Students have between January 1 and March 2 of every year to apply for these grants.
Student loans are also available only at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Students typically have the first two months of the semester to apply for loans.
Along with filling out an application, students must also attend a special workshop. If a student misses the deadline for the competitive grants and loans, the Pell grant is still available all year long.
“Once your situation changes, you basically have to go through the entire application process all over again and submit personal receipts and proof of payments to the aid office.” This is called a Change of Circumstance.
It was later brought to my attention that this process could actually benefit students and make them eligible for aid. I still stand by what I said when I wrote that this could negatively affect students.
When students have to go through this process in the middle of a semester, their aid is put on hold, and they don’t receive any checks until their new situation is cleared and approved.
“All approvals have to be made by the Marysville financial aid office.” In fact, the Woodland financial aid officer does most approvals. The Marysville office does the processing of checks and approvals of special circumstances, such as terminations and appeals.
“The Free Application for Federal Student Aid online form is due in the summer, usually in June or July.” Students can begin to apply online January 1 and can continue to apply until June of the next year. If they are eligible, they may even receive retroactive payments for the immediate previous semester/semesters.
“Corrections for the online application are due sometime in September.” Students can actually file corrections all year long during an awarding year.
For more information on financial aid and how to apply for aid, please visit FAFSA’s website at www.FAFSA.ed.gov.