Jefferson Community College, SUNY offer help with financial aid applications

pWATERTOWN — Paying for a college education can be a daunting proposition and navigating the myriad financial aid options can be an equally challenging task./ppThat is why Jefferson Community College hosted a State University of New York Financial Aid Day on Saturday at its Coffeen Street campus, part of a statewide initiative at all SUNY colleges to help students and their families learn about higher education funding opportunities, including loans, grants, student employment and scholarships./ppThe agenda included an overview of financial aid, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and how to apply. Employees of JCC’s financial aid office assisted students and parents in filling out online applications for aid./pp“This can be done on any computer, but we hold this today for parents that are a little bit unfamiliar with the process,” said James Ambrose, JCC’s director of financial aid. “It can be a little confusing.”/ppWhile SUNY hosts the program, the help is available at no cost to any student regardless of whether they plan on attending a SUNY school, Mr. Ambrose said. He said, however, students who are attending colleges outside of the SUNY system should also contact their chosen school for more information about a particular college’s financial aid opportunities./pp“There are a lot of tools out there to help find the funds,” he said. “Generally, the families that put the time in are the ones who find the ones that are a little more hidden or not quite as accessible.”/ppJulie Fowler, Harrisville, said she attended the event to make sure she was filling out an aid application correctly and not overlooking any possible assistance. Her son, Ethan, is a senior at Harrisville Central School and has been accepted at SUNY Canton, where he plans to major in renewable energies./ppEthan said he is in the process of looking for a summer job to help contribute to his tuition costs, but his mother said he will need a student loan as well, a loan that will become his responsibility upon graduation./pp“I think it gives them more motivation when they pay for it themselves,” Mrs. Fowler said./ppMichael Wells, a senior at LaFargeville Central School, said he is awaiting word on his pending applications to attend Harvard or Yale universities, but also needs to know what kind of aid may be available at schools to which he has already been accepted, including SUNY Oswego, Keuka College in Keuka Park, Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind., and Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Michael, who plans to major in political science with a pre-law focus, has the goal of becoming a politician./ppHe is leaning toward Keuka College as a possible alternative should he not be accepted at Harvard or Yale, but said the amount of aid available from his remaining options may play a role in which college he ultimately attends./pp“Financial aid carries a determination in another potential college,” he said./ppMichael’s mother, Peggy Wells, said she appreciated that JCC offered help with the financial aid application process for students who may end up attending an out-of-state school./pp“It’s nice that they’re reaching out, even if you have students not going to JCC,” she said. “It’s nice to walk out of there and say, “Phew, it’s done.”/ppMore than 50 people attended the event and Mr. Ambrose said many more have already received information through “financial aid nights” that his office has hosted at area high schools throughout the year. For people who may have missed Saturday’s event or a presentation at their school, JCC’s financial aid office will still offer assistance with filling out aid applications./pp“If you sit down and run into a snag, you can make an appointment and come up and see us,” he said./ppHe said there are also online sites that can offer help, but he cautioned that people be wary of any site charging a fee for the help, as all government-sponsored sites offer help at no cost./pp“If anyone asks for your credit card information, you are on the wrong site,” Mr. Ambrose said./ppJCC’s financial aid office can be contacted by email at or by phone at 786-2355. /p
Source: Watertown Daily Times Latest News

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