It’s not too early to decide how to pay for spring semester

Published 8:12 am Friday, August 20, 2010

Fall semester 2010 at Paul D. Camp Community College is now under way.

Classes began Thursday. If you planned to attend this fall but missed the deadlines for applying for financial aid, start preparing for spring semester now. The following is some helpful information from the College’s Office of Financial Aid.

Plan for spring financial aid

With spring semester classes starting Jan. 10, PDCCC has a separate spring priority-filing deadline for financial aid applications. That date is Oct. 1 to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Oct. 1 is 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.

The Financial Aid Office has some smaller pots of money that are leftover from fall semester students who did not attend, so the financial aid coordinator rewards eligible “early- bird” applicants by giving them those extra funds.

If you have never attended, apply for admission to the college at the same time. And if you attended more than three years ago, you will need to re-apply. Applying for admissions through the Virginia Community College System website is an option at

Tips for Applying

The Free Application for Student Aid is submitted once a year to the Department of Education electronically. The website is Be sure to use the right website. Many financial aid and scholarship scams exist, including ones that ask you to pay to file the FAFSA online.

Before you start, you can get a personal identification number to electronically sign the FAFSA at If providing parent information, one of your parents must also apply for his/her PIN.

Your PIN is your electronic signature and can only be used by the person whose signature it is. Your PIN is also used as your password to get back into a previously submitted application — to make corrections if needed, provide missing information and add another signature to your FAFSA electronically.

Gather the following required information required to apply:

Your PIN for FAFSA, signed copy of a 2009 federal taxes and copies of your spouse’s or parents’ federal taxes, W-2 forms, Social Security numbers, driver’s license and records of untaxed income, including child support, workers compensation and disability benefits.

Be aware of state and school deadlines to ensure that you apply early enough to complete the process. Enter your data and school codes. Paul D. Camp Community College’s 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. Submit your application, and make sure you receive a confirmation number.

Even if you think you do not qualify for financial aid, 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.

You can also apply for local scholarships. Check with your employer as well as local civic clubs, churches, and other organizations. Plus, spring scholarships available through the college will be posted on our website on or about Oct. 1.

Help for families affected by layoffs

If someone whose income is reported on the FAFSA has lost income since January, help may be available to see if this loss would result in more financial aid. The appeal process typically takes 30 days once received, so it is best to file the FAFSA early and turn in an appeal for unusual circumstances at least 45 days before the semester begins.

Federal Title I On Ramp Grant aid is available specifically for laid-off students, including Census takers, seasonal workers and those who have taken a lower paying job after having been laid off, to provide educational assistance leading to a new job.

Inquiries involving layoffs can be directed to the College’s On Ramp Office at 569-6754. For more information on financial aid, call 569-6715.

DR. PATSY JOYNER is the vice president for institutional advancement at Paul D. Camp Community College. Her e-mail address is