The fall semester is under way, and we have all been working hard to adapt to the new normal of remote work and a class during this strangest of years. In this article, I will lay out what is happening right now in the world of STCC financial aid to help us all better navigate the educational process in this crazy new world we are living in.
Even though classes have started, many of us are still working on getting financial aid. That’s OK! Keep at it! Make sure you keep a close eye on your student email and your STCCnet Portal in case the college asks you for more information. This is a very important step and the quicker you are able to return this information to us, the quicker we can complete your financial aid and get you money to pay for college! If you’ve already made a payment for your classes, you may be reimbursed what you paid when and if you are awarded financial aid.
If you have already received your financial aid but are still struggling to afford the things you need to make it through the semester, there are ways that STCC can help you! If you need more financial aid to help cover your bill for your classes or your book costs, you may contact the Student Financial Services office and fill out a request for additional financial aid. If you are struggling with the added costs of your education due to campus closure (e.g., higher internet or electric bills, costs of the technology you need to buy to attend class remotely) you can apply for CARES Act funds to help with this. The application is available on the Student Financial Services page of the STCC website. Chromebooks are also available for loan at the STCC library. Finally, the Center for Access Services (CAS) is available to help you with unexpected, short term emergencies, food from the Ram Cupboard (an emergency food pantry) and school supplies as well. More info on CAS can be found on the STCC website.
You should also be aware that Tuesday 9/8 – Monday 9/14 is the college’s add/drop period. During this time you may drop any classes from your schedule without any penalty to your grades or your bill. So, if you feel you need to drop a class, do it before 9/14. If you drop a class past that date, you may end up owing money back to the college or even losing eligibility for financial aid due to issues with your academic progress.
Finally, the new FAFSA for the 21-22 academic year will be available beginning October 1st! This may seem very early as it is almost a full year until the 21-22 academic year starts, but the earlier you do your FAFSA, the more financial aid you could be eligible to receive. Many types of financial aid are first come first serve or have deadlines. So the earlier you do your FAFSA the better! Also, if you were one of the people struggling to get your financial aid completed in time to start your classes or pay for books, completing your FAFSA extra early will give you PLENTY of time to deal with any issues that may arise so that this doesn’t happen again next year.
The FAFSA can be done online at fafsa.ed.gov or by downloading the myStudentAid app on your phone. You will need your FSA ID (username & password for the FAFSA), your 2019 taxes for next year, and make sure to add the STCC school code (005549) and sign your FAFSA before submitting it. If you would like help completing your FAFSA, you can call the Student Financial Services office at 755-4214 or myself, the Financial Literacy Coordinator, at 755-4455 to schedule an appointment.
Best of luck to everyone this year! Stay safe and healthy!