Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

FAFSA provides free money to minimize college debt before it happens

What you need to know to maximize your chances of financial success in college
The+application+is+free+and+opens+doors+for+financial+aid+assistance%2C+so+don%E2%80%99t+forget+about+visiting+the+FAFSA+website+at+https%3A%2F%2Fstudentaid.gov%2Fh%2Fapply-for-aid%2Ffafsa.+Washburn+used+results+from+the+FAFSA+for+years+to+offer+students+aid+for+their+college+experience.
The application is free and opens doors for financial aid assistance, so don’t forget about visiting the FAFSA website at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. Washburn used results from the FAFSA for years to offer students aid for their college experience.

Free is many college student’s favorite word. Free food, free clothes and, of course, free money. Students can add themselves to a pool of free money by applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA has been around for a while to assist students with college education costs. The cost of college increases every year and will continue to increase, so free money is becoming the only way to decrease those costs to prevent serious student loans for one’s future.

The biggest questions someone can ask is: what is the FAFSA? There are a multitude of people around Washburn’s campus that would offer to explain the FAFSA to someone who has never heard of it, and even help them fill it out. Jennifer Wiard, assistant dean for student success, is one of those people that would be willing to help any student who has questions about the FAFSA.

“It’s an opportunity to get some free money to pay for college […] Students tell us all the time that financial barriers are one of the biggest things that get in the way of their success and of their graduation,” Wiard said. “So one of the things that we try to do in our unit is just help students clear those barriers away. And one super important step is filling out the form that gets you some free money”.

Filling out the FAFSA allows every student to see what free money they might qualify for. Even if one does not think that they will qualify, they should still fill it out just in case they do.

This year, FAFSA has redone much of the form with the intent of making it easier for students and their parents/guardians to fill out. This has made the FAFSA less intimidating for someone who is filling it out for the first time.

“There used to be hundreds of questions on the FAFSA. Now, they’ve been able to simplify those down for some students to as few as 30 or so questions,” Wiard said.

Even for the students who still have more than 30 questions, they can receive free help from staff members to fill out the form. Parents and guardians are invited to come on campus with their students to fill the form out in the library. Before coming in though, the attendees should apply for an FSA ID through the FAFSA website because it can take a few days for the request to process.

“We are hosting kind of like these Washburn Wednesdays for FAFSA completion. And so we’re holding two workshops a day, one over the noon lunch hour [12 to 1 p.m.], and then one from 4 to 6 p.m. […] get some pizza, get some financial aid help,” Wiard said.

Andy Fogel, director of student financial aid, has the knowledge of what changes FAFSA is making and is experienced when it comes to figuring out financing options that can help students pay for college.

“Students that get through it, they’re seeing much faster completion time, and it’s a lot simpler,” Fogel said. “In the past, it used to link your tax information from the IRS and go out to their site and do the exact match with that information in order for it to be transmitted. And now the FAFSA is just going to communicate directly to the IRS for you. So by filling out the FAFSA, they will just go ahead and pull that information, as long as you provide your consent for that.”

The FAFSA uses your tax information to figure out how much help you need with paying for college. Although the form has flaws, it also helps many people that are attending college. According to Fogel, of the students that were enrolled in the fall of 2023 and filled out the FAFSA, 48.5% of them received Pell Grant money.

“Many grants and scholarships for everyone, we say all of them are linked to the FAFSA. By not completing it, they’re automatically eliminating themselves from those opportunities. So we just announced last fall our Shawnee County Promise program and for this upcoming fall our Northeast Kansas Advantage Program,” Fogel said. “Both of those require the FAFSA to be completed and if students qualify for those, it guarantees that they would be able to come to Washburn tuition free. So they’re very very excellent new programs here for students, but it does require the FAFSA and if you don’t fill it out at least once, you’ll never know if you qualify for these things”.

After one fills out the FAFSA application, it is strongly recommended for them to visit the ScholarshipUniverse and apply for scholarships that are verified to be safe. This is a new scholarship platform that uses questions answered about one’s self to match with outside scholarships. All of the sites on ScholarshipUniverse have been checked for validity.

Filling out the FAFSA can open up a wide variety of opportunities to finance the college experience. Don’t miss the opportunity.

Edited by Jeremy Ford and LeSha’ Davis

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Cheyenne Hittle, Business Manager
Hey! My name is Cheyenne. I am a freshman at Washburn majoring in Accounting. I am the Business Manager of Student Media. As the Business Manager I handle all the hiring of our content creators and teaching them how to use all of our softwares. If anyone ever has questions I am a great contact. Some time after graduation I plan to start a ranch and help my community by volunteering and donating whenever I can. I enjoy running, arts, photography, animals, and getting my hands dirty in the garden.
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