Workshop kick-starts push for financial aid packages

Workshop kick-starts push for financial aid packages

About 25 T.C. Williams seniors seized upon the opportunity to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms on Saturday morning as part of this years FAFSA Super Saturday event workshop hosted by the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria.

The FAFSA, the standard form on which the government and colleges base their financial aid packages, is noticeably different and simpler than a year ago, according to college guides and something students notice already.

Rene Rodriguez, a senior hoping to attend the University of Richmond, took about 40 minutes to fill out his FAFSA worksheet.

It was much easier than I thought, Rodriguez said. That, though, isnt to say that the financial aid process has gotten any easier this year. 

To help students navigate the form, the Scholarship Fund had four post-grad college guides on hand from the University of Virginia, which has a total of 20 guides throughout the state to advise students in rural and urban areas on the college admissions process.

Its kind of daunting because I have friends who go to college now and they said the FAFSA always underestimates how much money their families have to provide, Rodriguez said. I was really scared my mom is a single mother and she has me and my younger brother to support so I dont want to make it something thats too much.

The Scholarship Funds application deadline, which requires the FAFSA as well, is February 12 and schools notify students of their financial aid packages throughout the spring.