College Costs Out of Reach? Learn How to Apply for Financial Aid Tonight
Financial Aid Information Night helps parents and students learn what aid is available and how to navigate the application process
As the cost of higher education keeps climbing, Bucks County Community College can help you reach your academic goals with Financial Aid Information Night at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, in the Linksz Pavilion on the Newtown Campus.
At the free forum, parents and students will learn how to complete federal forms to apply for financial aid at any college or university, according to Donna Wilkoski, Director of Financial Aid.
“We’ll explain the details of the FAFSA,” Wilkoski said, referring to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. “People look at the form and may find it’s overwhelming the first time they do it. But it’s the only way to find out if you qualify for any assistance, and the earlier you file, the better.”
The FAFSA must be filled out annually by college students and their parents to determine eligibility for federal financial aid. In addition, many states and schools use the information on the form to decide non-federal aid awards, such as institutional grants and scholarships.
To that end, Andrew States of the Bucks County Community College Foundation will speak about scholarship opportunities available to students who choose Bucks. Each year, the public, two-year college distributes more than 250 scholarships and awards. Most of the funds come from the BCCC Foundation, a nonprofit educational trust, which is currently accepting applications for scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year.
At the forum, representatives from Bucks’ Financial Aid office will discuss the types of aid offered through both the federal government and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).
“There’s a wide range of financial aid available. It all depends on a student’s situation,” says Wilkoski. “For instance, everyone can apply using the FAFSA. Grants are determined based on household income, household size, number of siblings attending college, and other factors. All students must complete the FAFSA to receive a federal student loan. Even at Bucks, more than one-third of our students receive some sort of aid grants and loan included.”
Financial aid representatives will be available to answers questions after the presentations.
Bucks is often the first choice for an affordable start to a bachelor’s degree, with tuition just $165 a credit for county residents. Most credits transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
The campus is located at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa., where there is ample free parking. For more information about Financial Aid Information Night on February 19, call the Financial Aid Office at 215-968-8200, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.bucks.edu/financialaid.
Bucks County Community College’s Financial Aid Office provides the following tips for applicants:
- Gather all 2018 income tax information before completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2020-21 FAFSA is based on your 2018 income.
- Complete the FAFSA by the deadline prescribed by the school where you are applying. You can complete it online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- Check with the college you will be attending to see if they require other forms to be filed, and to verify their deadlines.
- Complete a Master Promissory Note application form and entrance counseling at www.studentloans.gov – in addition to the FAFSA – if you plan to apply to the Federal Family Education Loan Program, which includes Federal Stafford Loans, subsidized and unsubsidized.