Community College of Beaver County Offers Free Financial Aid Guidance

FAFSA Completion Session for College-Bound Students & Their Parents

       Community College of Beaver County will offer a free FAFSA Completion Session on July 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the College’s Science and Technology Center, room 4117. The workshop for college-bound juniors and seniors, their parents, and school counselors, provides the opportunity to get personalized help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the chance to ask questions related to the financial aid process. Session information will be provided by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).

      The deadline for submitting the FAFSA to determine eligibility for a need-based Pennsylvania State Grant is August 1 for first-time students entering programs of study at community colleges, business, trade or technical schools, and hospital schools of nursing; however, families should submit their FAFSA as early as possible after January 1 to ensure meeting earlier financial aid deadlines that may be required by selected schools. Applicants can now access the State Grant Form (SGF) directly from the online FAFSA. Students who submit their FAFSA without using the SGF link will be directed to Account Access through the Secure Sign-In at PHEAA.org to complete the SGF. The SGF collects some additional data elements not requested on the FAFSA.

      The FAFSA is used to determine if students qualify for almost all forms of need-based financial assistance, including the Pennsylvania State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, many scholarships, work-study programs, many school-based awards, and low-cost federal student loans. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to find out about the student aid that is available to help finance college expenses.

     “Each year, tens of thousands of Pennsylvania families don’t complete their FAFSA in time to meet the various deadlines for financial assistance,” notes Representative William Adolph, Chairman of the PHEAA Board. “To be sure you qualify for all the aid available, it is best to plan ahead and be sure you submit your FAFSA prior to your earliest financial aid deadline.”

      Last year, 98% of all applicants completed the FAFSA online, which provides for faster and more accurate results. A new feature this year will allow tax filers to have their IRS data automatically populate certain FAFSA questions, making the process easier. Families are encouraged to visit PHEAA.org/FAFSA to access the online FAFSA, as well as a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet to help walk them step-by-step through the application process. Since the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) will no longer provide paper forms, families have the choice of completing and submitting the form electronically or printing the form and sending it to the U.S. Department of Education via traditional mail. To submit the form electronically, the student and a parent must use a PIN (personal identification number) which may be obtained while filing the FAFSA or requested in advance at pin.ed.gov. They should receive their PIN in about 3 days via email. The PIN acts as their electronic signatures.

      Families are advised to be cautious of online FAFSA sites that require a fee to complete the free application, as help is available through PHEAA staff and the U.S. government at no charge.