“What’s the status with my financial aid?” is the most frequently asked question at Salt Lake Community College’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, according to front desk technician Desiree Van Otten.
Now, with registration beginning for the spring 2021 semester, many students are wondering how they’re going to pay for another semester of education.
While some students do not take advantage of aid, some depend on it fully, like Seth Fowler, an exercise science major whose wife lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Without Pell Grants and scholarship opportunities, I wouldn’t be able to go to school,” Fowler said.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships helps students pay for school, no matter their financial position, according to Van Otten.
SLCC students can apply for scholarships by going to the Scholarships & Tuition Waivers webpage, clicking “Apply Now,” and filling out the requested information. Answers to application questions determine what scholarships a student qualifies for, and at the end they’ll be shown a page filled with applicable scholarships and funding sources.
The Nov. 1 priority deadline for spring 2021 has passed, but the spring 2021 application cycle remains open until March 1 for continuing students and Feb. 1 for new students.
Financial aid forms can be confusing, often take hours to complete and ask for information people rarely have memorized. Students can visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships either in person or online and meet with an advisor for tailored advice.
The office aids students by determining their financial aid status and helping them fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which grants 13 million students more than $120 billion in grants, work study and low-interest loans each year, according to studentaid.gov.
If a student wants one-on-one time with a specialist in person or over the phone, the office asks that they plan ahead since appointments can be booked out a couple weeks in advance.
“There’s been less traffic in our office because of the pandemic,” said Van Otten. “We’ve been getting a lot more emails and calls, though.”
SLCC Promise is another program which provides additional assistance to students who are eligible for Pell Grants but still can’t pay for tuition. The only action required to apply for SLCC Promise is to sign an acceptance form agreeing to meet with an academic advisor.
SLCC wants their students to go to school without having to worry about the cost.
“We want you to succeed. We can help you navigate competitive Tuition, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Academic Advising and other programs,” reads the About page on the SLCC website.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fridays. Call 801-957-4410 or email FinancialAid@slcc.edu for more information.