Financial Aid… How Do I Get It?
Financial aid is on the forefront of many students’ minds when entering college. We all know college is expensive and this can be the determining factor for some on where they go to college and if they go to college. NC State offers many resources for students and families who may need assistance with the financial aspect of attending college, but not everybody knows about these opportunities. I met with Lisa Page, the assistant director for the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid here at NC State, to ask her some of the questions that I’m sure many of us are wondering the answers to.
The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is a resource on campus that provides assistance to students and their families who are considering the expenses of an education at NC State. Planning and counseling are one of the main focuses of this resource, as they work to answer any questions students may have and guide them in the right direction to the appropriate solution to any problems that may arise. The office provides you with steps to achieve the maximum amount of financial aid available to you, including completing applications and finding scholarships that work best for you.
When asked, Page said that the number one piece of advice she could offer to students is to reach out for help. Appointments are not necessary in order to reach out to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, and you have the option to call, email, or stop by in person at Harris Hall on Main Campus. Page also emphasized the importance of deadlines for applications, including the FAFSA form, scholarship applications, summer aid if applicable and the academic calendar. Scholarships are a great opportunity to receive funding, and there are many different options available to apply for. As a recommendation, Page advised to apply for as many scholarships as possible, including those through NC State and those outside of the university. When applying through the university, you can go into your Pack Assist portal, which will display the scholarships offered through the university. Do not forget to apply for not only the general application, but also the CHASS application, and any other scholarships that may be relevant to you specifically!
With summer approaching, I made sure to ask Page about financial aid opportunities available to students who choose to take courses over the summer. She recommended that students apply as soon as possible for summer aid in order to maximize their chances of receiving need-based grant funding for those eligible. In order to be eligible for summer federal loans or summer federal Pell grants, undergraduate students are required to be enrolled in six or more credit hours that count towards their degree or minor. Applications for summer aid are open now, so be sure to apply if this is something you will need.
College is a confusing world to navigate through, and there are many tasks one needs to complete each year for enrollment, but NC State offers great resources to help students and families find their way through. If you have any questions about financial aid or scholarships, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is happy to help, as they encounter a wide range of questions.
This article is by Madison Hofner, a Department of Sociology and Anthropology student ambassador majoring in criminology and psychology and minoring in cognitive science and social work.