Financial Services plans FAFSA workshop

Clarion, Pa.- Paying for college can be a frustrating time for students, one that can even prohibit students from attending.

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Students who are unable to pay for school out of pocket have to turn to multiple sources from state grants and scholarships to private loans. There are so many options available to helping out students financially, with so many different rules and regulations, that students often get easily confused.

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Clarion University’s Student Financial Services will be available to help students fill out their FAFSA form. On March 29 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the first floor of Becht Hall, they will be hosting a “FAFSA Completion/Help with all Things Financial Aid” workshop.

During this time, they will be available to walk students through how to complete their FAFSA forms as well as give other financial advice to those who need it. Attendees will also be given pizza, pop and prizes. 

Each year in Pennsylvania alone, more than 650,000 students fill out applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is to see if students are eligible for various forms of federal aid including the PELL Grant, Perkins Loan and the Stafford Loan.

In order to fill out the form, students need various information including social security number and student and parental tax information. If students are unfamiliar with the terms on the form, they can get frustrated and discouraged if they are unable to figure out what is being asked of them.

The Clarion Call conducted a FAFSA completion survey with 45 randomly selected students. This poll showed that the further along students are in school, the more confident they are to fill out the form and deal with their financial affairs on their own.

In the class of 2017, 45 percent of students filled their forms out by themselves. This compares to only 24 percent of students in the class of 2018 and 22 percent in 2019’s class.

Many students favor working with their parents collectively on their financial forms. In the class of 2019, 66 percent of students turn the process into a duel effort. 32 percent of the class of 2018 works with their parents, but only 18 percent of the class of 2017 work with their parents when it comes to filling out their forms.

Even though most students do it by themselves the older they get, 36 percent of students in the class of 2017 still have their parents fill out their forms for them. The class that has their parents fill out their forms the most is the class of 2018 at 44 percent. Contrary to general belief, the class of 2019 came in with the least parent-only assistance at 11 percent.

The main reason that people gave as to why they had their parents do it for them was that they were too far away from their parents to help them, and they did not have the information necessary to complete it.

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