Educators encouraging students to apply for FAFSA to pay for college tuition

Educators encouraging students to apply for FAFSA to pay for college tuition

YAKIMA, Wa. -- Many students have loan debt after they graduate from college or university and just last year $2.3 billion in free college aid was left unclaimed.

Perry Technical Institute hosted a FAFSA/WASFA workshop today where students received help to fill out their applications.

Konner Wentz says he has three older brothers and they all went to college so his parents couldn’t pay for everyone.

He says if it wasn’t for federal student aid he is not sure if he would be continuing school.

“Definitely paid for I’m pretty sure most, if not most then all of my books for sure, and each quarter I think I’m only paying maybe $150 out of pocket so and its I want to say four grand per quarter so it’s actually helping a lot," said Wentz.

Director of Financial Aid Mayra Fernandez says applying to the Free Application for federal Student Aid also known as FAFSA is the first step students should take.

She says even students that maybe don’t qualify for free student aid may still be able to qualify for scholarships, work – study and lastly loans.

“For students who let’s say their parents make too much money, they can always appeal their financial aid which means we can maybe look at their current income situation and we can update their FAFSA to give them a better financial aid award," said Fernandez.

The problem is many students forget to apply or don’t make the time for it.

According to NerdWallet’s annual analysis of federal financial aid data, money went unclaimed by 661,000 members of the class of 2018 who were eligible for federal Pell Grant but didn’t complete the FAFSA.

Students can receive up to $30,000 in college aid in as little as four minutes if they simply apply.

This year they have condensed the application by taking off repetitive questions.

You can also download the FAFSA app where you can fill out the application on your phone.

Students that are not U.S citizens, permanent residents or under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, can also receive federal aid through the WASFA program.

Some important items people should have when applying is your social security number, identification card or DACA work authorization and a copy of your or your parents tax form.

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