Outlook positive for college students seeking financial aid

Published 8:19 am Friday, April 2, 2010

Teresa Harrison, financial aid coordinator for Paul D. Camp Community College, says last year’s federal stimulus package included an increase in Pell Grant funding.

Students attending this summer can get a full-time Pell Grant even if they were fulltime in the fall and spring semesters. April 23 is the deadline to file a 2009-10 Free Application for Federal Student Aid for a summer grant. The 2008 federal taxes should be used.


For students who are International Paper employees or family members, there are programs to help pay for tuition, fees and books. Most IP employees are covered under the Trade Act; free financial aid and Trade Act grants can be received during the same semester.

If an IP student chooses to use the Trade Act to obtain a higher degree, then Pell Grant, Opportunity Inc. or the new On Ramp Grant are possible payment options. While 1040 taxes must be used to complete the application, students affected by the IP closure are encouraged to file an Appeal for Unusual Circumstances to see if the loss of income results in eligibility.


For the fall semester beginning Aug. 19, eligible students should complete the 2010-11 financial aid grant application by June 1. The earlier the better. The financial aid office has some smaller pots of money that deplete quickly and rewards eligible “early-bird” applicants with those funds.

The financial aid application is submitted once a year to the department of education electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

A computer is available in the college’s financial aid offices in Franklin and Suffolk if help is needed. No appointment is necessary; students need to bring tax information between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday or 8 a.m. and noon on Friday — allowing at least 30 minutes for the application process.

Students filing on their own are should make sure the right Web site is used. Many financial aid/ scholarship scams exist, including ones that ask applicants to pay for filing the financial aid application online. The official Web site is www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Before starting, each student applicant should obtain a personal identification number at www.pin.ed.gov.

If parental information is required, one parent must apply for and use his PIN to sign the application. The PIN is the applicant’s electronic signature.

Required information for applying includes the applicant’s PIN number to sign; copies of applicant’s 2009 federal taxes, spouse’s or parents’ federal taxes andW-2 forms, if you worked and did not file taxes; Social Security numbers; driver’s license; and school codes.

Untaxed income, including child support, worker’s compensation and veterans’ non-education benefits, are also required to be reported.

Paul D. Camp Community College’s federal school code is 009159. Applicants should print the confirmation number, which will include the Expected Family Contribution number. This number directly relates to the amount of aid that could be received.

If the financial aid office asks for other documentation, applicants should reply promptly.

A graduating high school student must also provide a transcript copy. Some aid is available if the applicant’s grade-point average is at a certain minimum, or if he has an Advanced Studies Diploma.

For more details on financial aid, call 569-6715 or 925-6346.