UAP helps students with 2020-2021 FAFSA

Jackson VolenecReporter

The University Access Programs office held an open workshop in Engleman Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 9 to assist students filling out their 2020-2021 FAFSA form for the upcoming academic year. Students came to the workshop to voice questions and concerns they had about their FAFSA and were assisted by the students and staff at UAP.

“A lot of people have problems with filling out their FAFSA; there’s a lot of complicated steps through the process. I know that I had trouble completing
it in my first two years of school as well,” said Marissa Siemiatkoski, a former student and a staff member at UAP during the workshop.

Questions regarding tax information including students’ and their parents’ yearly incomes, and other detailed information that students are required to provide. This lengthy process of completing the FAFSA has led to some students and parents getting stuck or confused.

The workshop brought in several students with questions or concerns on how to complete their aid forms in time and guarantee they will receive the aid that is
essential to attending school for many people.

“I was almost not able to receive my financial aid in time because I was really just struggling to complete my FAFSA,” said nursing major, Lauren Donnelly, a sophomore. “I kept submitting it and at least something was wrong. This went on for months until the financial aid office helped.”

Students who complete their FAFSA forms too late are sometimes unable to receive any aid at all, as it is a first-come, first served system. The UAP is making sure, by emphasizing the importance of students receiving their financial aid, that students get their FAFSA submitted immediately.

“A lot of kids come to me in February with financial aid problems,” said financial officer Lewis DeLuca. “They tell me they don’t know how to submit their FAFSA, and at that point there’s no more grants to be given. It is really important to submit it as soon as you can. October is best.”

Many students find themselves putting the FAFSA in the back of their priority list since it seems like there is plenty of time to complete it. However, the earliest applicants are better off compared to those who submit their forms close to the
cutoff time.

“Going to the workshop had helped me get everything sorted out, and now I just don’t have to worry about it anymore. That’s a nice feeling because my last times were really stressful,” said Donnelly.

The UAP office is available to assist any student who is struggling with completing their forms. Additionally, the financial aid office is constantly available as a resource to students who need help with any aid related topics.

“I’m glad that the school has resources, for the students in areas that are really important,” Donnelly said.

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