Financial aid workshop to be offered March 23

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Crowder College Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) will offer a financial aid workshop at the Crowder College Cassville Campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. Community members planning to attend college or technical school in the fall are encouraged to attend.

"A lot of people don't realize that there is free money to go to college," said Connie Patton, EOC educational advisor for Barry and Lawrence counties. "FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Even A+ students need to have a FAFSA in place.

"Some people think they make too much money and can't qualify for free funding, but this is an opportunity to come in and see how much funds they are eligible to receive," continued Patton. "It is important to know how much free money there is and if you qualify."

The workshop is not limited to individuals planning to attend classes at a Crowder College campus. EOC representatives will be available to help individuals planning to attend any college or technical school.

"We can even help them in choosing a school if they would like," said Patton. "This is a Trio program funded by federal funds. We recruit for all schools. They do not have to want to attend Crowder to take advantage of our services. We can assist anyone interested in pursuing a secondary education."

Although EOC is designed for economically disadvantaged community members, representatives will assist anyone during the workshops regardless of economic level. The event is also not limited to Barry and Lawrence county residents.

"We will be sitting down and assisting students in completing the 2013-14 FAFSA, and we will be working to get as many applications in place as possible by the Missouri Access Grant deadline, which is April 1," said Patton. "We have scheduled these events all over the counties we serve."

The Missouri Access Grant offers free state funding for college. The amount of funding students will receive will depend on the school they choose to attend and the amount of funding state legislators set aside in the budget for the program.

"Some years, students get $250 or $500 per year," said Patton. "A student at a four-year university might get $1,000 per year, but there is nothing set in stone. If a student only gets $125 that will help pay for their text books though. Every little bit helps. Any free money is better than no free money at all."

In addition to helping students complete the FAFSA, EOC representatives will provide a variety of financial aid information and tips on the educational process during the workshop.

Area high school seniors and their parents, adults planning to enter college or technical training or return to college and individuals who are nearing completion of the GED are encouraged to attend the workshop.

For more information or to schedule an appointment during the workshop, call 417-455-5475 or 866-822-1362.

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