Courtney Mcgirt-Dial at Lumbee Hall the go to person for financial needs for students on campus. PN Photo/Anais Hernandez Castilla

By: Anais Hernandez Castilla, Campus News Editor

A Webex seminar for how to pay for college was held Jan. 26. The seminar was hosted by the Transfer & Commuter Center, New Student Programs and Trio Programs. There are a variety of ways students can pay for school. The most common is filing for a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA.

The FAFSA is an application that the federal government uses in order to assess your financial information and will indicate what loans or grants you may qualify for. In order to receive Pell Grants, a student must show financial need within their FAFSA application. This is money that doesn’t have to be paid back at the end of your college career. The government provides without having the person pay it back, if they earned their bachelor’s degree.

Through financial aid, a person can receive unsubsidized loans and subsidized loans. Unsubsidized loans are for both undergraduate and graduate students. These loans charge a monthly interest rate as soon as the recipient receives the loan. They are not based on financial need and gives you an interest rate that you would be responsible for from the time you receive the funds to the time it is paid in full.

Subsidized loans are based on financial need and are determined by the cost of attendance at the school attending. Unlike unsubsidized loans, they do not add to interest while you are in school at least part-time or full time or are in deferment periods. Six months after graduating, subsidized loans begin accruing interest. More information can be found at studentaid.gov.

Another way to pay for school is to search for scholarships, whether through the school you are attending or from websites like “Niche”. UNCP students can use “BRAVEASSIST” which helps students acquire scholarships. Each scholarship has its own criteria you must meet.

There are federal scholarships you can apply for and should be applied in advance to ensure that you meet the time requirements as well as the other criteria they require.

You may also do work-study. “When I applied for work-study through FAFSA it did not indicate the amount I would receive, I would have to go through brave web and see the award,” said senior Renita Graham.

Federal Work-Study is part of your school’s financial aid program, in order to receive work-study you must apply for it through your FAFSA. Some of the benefits of work-study are that you may gain experience in your field, the hours
for your work-study work around your class schedule, and work-study may also help you earn extra cash to pay for your college costs.

Anything earned from work-study does not count on the FASFA. Some of the cons of work-study would be that the hours are very limited. Since you will be awarded through your school and will only be able to get a limited amount during each semester, the hours for work-study take away time to study or do work since the hours could range from 4-20 hours a week.

“That the best way for students to be eligible for work-study is to first do fill out the FAFSA application on October 1st of every year because the school receives a certain amount to award students and after that, you will be put on a waitlist,” said Associate Director of the Office of Financial Aid, Courtney Mcgirt-Dial.

Mcgirt-Dial said to see if you are eligible for work-study, it is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

The EFC is calculated under the consideration of your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits such as unemployment or social security.