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Help with Financial Aid and Dream Act Applications is Aim of Financial Aid Awareness Month at Grossmont College

Posted on: Feb 9, 2015 1:00:00 AM
In: Grossmont, District
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Contact: Lorena Ruggero, lorena.ruggero@gcccd.edu, 619-644-7840

February is Financial Aid Awareness Month at Grossmont College, and financial aid advisors are holding a series of free, walk-in workshops to not only provide students with detailed information about assistance, but also to help them apply for grants, scholarships and California Dream Act status.

Some 51 percent of Grossmont College students receive some form of financial aid, securing approximately $28 million in grants, scholarships and loans last year.

“Financial aid is an important component in student success because it assists with the growing cost of education,” said Barbara Rogerio, Grossmont College’s Financial Aid Outreach Coordinator. “However, many people are unaware of the resources available or they think they won’t qualify and decide against attending college. The truth is, the only way you can find out if you qualify or not is by submitting a financial aid application. For many students who apply, financial aid becomes the stepping stone they need to attend college and transform their lives.”

Financial aid comes in many forms. Among the state-funded assistance is the Cal Grant program. The most popular federally funded assistance comes through the Pell Grant program. Pell Grants are need-based awards to low-income college students aimed at promoting access to postsecondary education.

Cal Grants are available to California residents, and awards are guaranteed for all students who meet program eligibility requirements. That includes undocumented immigrants covered under the California Dream Act. Immigrants without proper documentation are covered under the California Dream Act and eligible for Cal Grants if they fill out a Dream Act application and are attending an accredited California college or university; attended a California high school for three years; and graduated from a California high school, passed the high school proficiency exam or secured a General Equivalency Diploma.

The deadline to apply for a Cal Grant for the coming academic year is March 2. Workshops that include help filling out financial aid applications are set for:

  • 9 to 11 a.m., Feb. 12, in Room 70-103
  • 5 to 7 p.m., Feb. 19, in Room 70-103
  • 10 a.m. – noon, Feb. 21, during the Grossmont College Open House
  • 5 to 7 p.m., Feb. 25, in Room 70-103

No appointments are necessary. Those interested in filing a California Dream Act application are encouraged to attend and will receive assistance at the workshops.

Financial aid has become a critical factor in expanding educational opportunities. Applications at Grossmont College have increased over 100 percent since 2006, Rogerio said.

“People need to know that there are resources available to help them pay for college,” she said.

About Grossmont College

Grossmont College is “Changing Lives Through Education” and has served the diverse educational needs of San Diego’s East County since 1962. With a wide variety of certificate and associate’s degree programs, Grossmont College provides workforce training, career development and transferable college-level coursework to its more than 18,000 students. For more information, visit Grossmont.edu.

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