Filling Out College Financial Aid Forms Need Not Be Stressful - Daily Hudson Valley News

Filling Out College Financial Aid Forms Need Not Be Stressful

Feb 15th, 2011 | By | Category: General Interest

Earning a baccalaureate degree boosts marketability and potential job offers, especially in an economically challenged workplace. For most students and their parents, filling out the required financial aid forms is a daunting step on the road to a college degree. To minimize the stress of financial aid paperwork, Michelle Taylor, director of enrollment management at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., offers several suggestions.

*         Know which forms are required – FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, but there is also the College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS) and some schools may require their own internal application.  Separate applications for academic awards and scholarships, versus need-based awards, may also need to be completed.

*         Mark the calendar — The best advice is to have the FAFSA completed no later than March 1.  Filing early assures that your file will be reviewed early, when the most funds are available; some schools have less money to offer later on.

*         You don’t need to be an accountant — Financial aid forms can be intimidating and tedious, so be well organized and take time reading and answering each question.  The FAFSA worksheet is available to print before filing online.  It indicates the exact tax return line to look at for each question.

*         Proceed with caution – If a company or individual offers a guarantee of increased financial aid by using their services, beware.  It is a misconception that financial aid is some kind of negotiation.  Generally, schools make the best offer right out of the gate.

Mount Saint Mary College will hold an Open House on Sunday, February 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the campus at 330 Powell Avenue.  Financial aid counselors will be on hand to answer questions.

Prospective freshmen, transfer students and their families can learn about the Mount’s rigorous undergraduate programs leading to careers in the health professions, education, business, human services and liberal arts.

Registration will be held in the Kaplan Family Mathematics, Science, and Technology (MST) Center atrium.

During Open House, faculty and admissions counselors will provide information about such opportunities as the college’s robust internships, Career Center, student clubs and honors program. Student ambassadors will lead tours of classrooms, updated residence halls and the renovated Aquinas dining hall,with new furnishings and large windows overlooking the Hudson River.

To facilitate the transfer of credits, Mount Saint Mary College has articulated agreements with community colleges in Orange, Dutchess, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.

For more information or to register for Open House, call 845-569-3488 or visit www.msmc.edu<>

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