Start early to prepare for spring semester

Published 8:23 am Friday, August 28, 2009

Believe it or not, fall semester 2009 is now under way. Classes began on Aug. 19. (Where did the summer go?) If you planned to attend this fall but missed the deadlines for applying for financial aid, you should start preparing for spring semester now. Following is some helpful information from the Office of Financial Aid.

Plan Now for Spring Financial Aid

With classes starting Jan. 11, spring semester will be here before you know it — and Paul D. Camp Community College has a separate spring priority filing deadline for financial aid applications. That date is Oct. 1, so act quickly to get your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) filed.

The priority filing deadline is the date when the Financial Aid Office starts processing applications for the upcoming semester. The earlier you apply, the better the financial aid offer you are likely to get. This is because the Financial Aid Office has some smaller pots of money that are left over from fall students who did not attend. The Financial Aid Coordinators reward eligible “early- bird” applicants by giving them those extra funds. If you have never attended before, be sure to apply for admission to the college at the same time. And if you attended more than three years ago, you will need to reapply.

If you think you do not qualify for financial aid, remember that the rules change every year, and so do your taxes, upon which the FAFSA is based. The application process is free, so there is nothing to lose by trying.

Tips for Applying for Financial Aid

FAFSA is submitted once a year to the Department of Education electronically at Be sure to use the right Web site. Many financial aid and scholarship scams exist, including ones that ask you to pay to file the FAFSA online. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The official Web site is — not .com.

And before you start, get a personal identification number at If providing parent information, one of your parents must also apply for his or her own PIN. Your PIN is your electronic signature and can only be used by the person whose signature it is. It should never be shared with anyone. Your PIN is also used as your password to get back into your application — to make corrections if needed, to provide missing information and also to sign your FAFSA electronically, for examples. Also remember to keep a record of this PIN number. You can use it next year to re-apply for financial aid (and throughout your academic career).

Gather the following information required to apply: your PIN for FAFSA renewal; copy of your federal taxes; copy of your spouse’s federal taxes (if applicable); copy of your parent’s federal taxes (if applicable); copies of W-2 form(s), if worked and did not file taxes; Social Security numbers; driver’s license; and records of untaxed income (Example: child support received or paid, worker’s compensation and/or disability benefits).

Be aware of state and school deadlines to ensure that you apply early enough to complete the process. Enter your data. Paul D. Camp Community College school code is 009159 (for all locations). Sign your application either electronically using your PIN or printing a signature page to sign and mail in. (The application cannot proceed with missing signature and/or information until this is received). Submit your application, and make sure you receive a confirmation number.

You can also apply for local scholarships. Check with your employer as well as local civic clubs, churches, and other organizations. Plus, scholarships available through the college will be posted on our Web site (on or about Oct. 5.)

For more details on financial aid, call 569-6715. For information on other services and programs available at PDCCC, call 569-6700, or visit the Web site at