Financial aid workshop offers help on FAFSA and Dream Act applications

Story and Photos by Arlene Guerrero

Student Priscilla Diaz being helped by Financial Aid Specialist Trelton Spencer at the Workhop at the LAC library on Oct 24, 2018.

A mother out of the two that attended the financial aid workshop at the LAC library had assistance filling out financial aid forms correctly to avoid paperwork problems she had last year on Wednesday.

Workshops are an outreach to help anyone who has questions about FAFSA or Dream Act applications.

Prior workshops have only received a handful of students. In the past, some have had no more than five students.

“Throughout this time, students are more worried about midterms and upcoming tests; but this is a great opportunity for the student to get  one on one access and be assisted page by page, step by step and screen by screen,” said financial aid specialist, Ben Chase.

The Financial Aid Office offers various workshops at the LAC and PCC for students who are enrolled, or will be enrolling with more assistance.

“Our hallway is pretty small and lines get long quickly, and many students don’t feel comfortable going over secret stuff,” said Chase.

Students may have delays in their disbursements if not filled out correctly.  

Student Priscilla Diaz, whose disbursement was delayed in a previous semester, intended to avoid the delay and any trouble again.

“I just became a mother and this is my first year back in school. I’m trying to get as much help as possible and do things correct this time. I’m getting myself situated with being a student and mother, and this workshop saved me trouble I had last semester later on in the semester,” said Diaz.

Although the same amount of money will be given to the student, if there is deficiency in the applications, the delay may affect the student as far as not being able to purchase the course materials in a timely manner.

“We love helping students and we want them to know we are trained,and here to help them while supporting them throughout the process,” said specialist Trelton Spencer.

Although it is a bit of a hassle on being able to have a computer lab accessible, the department does hope to continue to host these workshops for the students throughout the semesters.

“We would really like a better turnout to have more students attend and actually understand what can be offered and we’re focusing what we can do to get a better turnout and maybe even consider a time during lunch or partnering up with classrooms,” said Spencer.

Students are welcome to come to the future workshops that are in the process of being planned in November.