FAFSA workshops can help all students

Adriana Ruvalcaba

Copy Editor


CSU Bakersfield’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will be offering workshops where faculty and professionals will answer questions as students complete their FAFSA and scholarship applications. The workshops are in the Walter Stern Library in computer lab 16.

The workshops are intended to motivate students to submit applications before the priority deadline, which is on March 2. Associate Director of Financial Aid Chad Morris said students can still submit after the deadline, but they may not get access to the limited funds that are offered to students who apply first.

These workshops are meant to create awareness and offer services for many continuing students. Morris said that about 90 percent of students are on financial aid, so the workshops are helping a great part of the population on campus.

“It’s a resource to have one of our financial aid experts to help them while they are filling out by the deadline,” said Morris.

The FAFSA workshops began four years ago and the scholarship workshops began three years ago, said Tanae McCall, Financial Advisor and Scholarship Coordinator. She said the scholarship application assistance was added when they saw that not enough students were applying.

“I usually tell all students to apply,” said McCall. “There are different criteria for each scholarship.”

She said there are over 350 internal campus based endowments and various other scholarships that can focus on major, merit, or financial need. Merit-based scholarships may award students with a 3.0 or 3.5 GPA whereas need-based scholarships will award if the GPA is at least 2.5 or 2.7.

Students will need to write a personal essay and have references. The references can come from professors and from other individuals, which is good news for freshmen and new transfer students.

“On the application it says it can be personal, academic reference, or employer,” said McCall.

The scholarship application, like the FAFSA application, must be renewed every year. Sophomore Sylvia Brown, 20, applied last year and this year. She has received the Middle Class Grant and the Academic Scholarships for the past two years. Brown, who is a music education major, also received the Music Scholarship. She has received over $2,000 in funding for each quarter.

“The application was easy, but tedious,” said Brown. She thinks students should still try to apply.

Freshman Stephanie Nuno, 18, is also a music education major, but hasn’t applied for scholarships yet. She plans on attending the Feb. 10 workshop. She receives money through FAFSA, but sometimes it’s not enough for other expenses besides tuition.

“I need money for gas and for books. Little things here and there for music…just school in general,” said Nuno. “I also want to participate in school events, but I don’t have the clothes to show support.”

She refers to the CSUB sweaters that cost over $50.

“But I’m trying to save money for gas and for the rest of the quarter,” said Nuno.

Upcoming FAFSA workshops will be on Feb. 10 and Feb. 26. The Scholarship workshops will be on Jan. 29 and Feb. 17.