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A Student’s Guide to Financial Aid: Federal grants, loans serve as type of student funding

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By Erica Aguilar

As days pass, students are requested to complete the application process for financial aid as soon as possible this year.

As of Jan. 1, all students are eligible to begin submitting forms. The deadline for submitting California Grant applications is March 2.

This year, many new ways of filing have been established by the government, and there are new steps to take when renewing applications.

Students must refile their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form in one of two ways. The easiest way is to return the renewal application that was mailed in January. The other way is by filing a new application.

After submitting the 1997-98 FAFSA form to the processor, students need to submit a ULV data sheet to the ULV Office of Financial Aid in order to be eligible for aid awarded from the school.

“I think this year in particular, the students need to take the time and the trouble to read the documents given to them, especially from the federal government,” said Adeline Cardenas-Clague, dean of enrollment services.

There are different types of financial aid available to students beyond money directly from the University. Some of the funding includes Federal Pell Grants, Cal Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), PLUS Loans, Consolidation Loans, Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Work-Study are all available to undergraduate students.

Graduate students can receive work study and loans, but are ineligible for Pell Grants or SEOGs.

Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC), whether they are full or part-time students and whether they attend school for a full academic year or less.

There are three different types of Cal Grants available to students from the state-Cal Grant A, B and C.

Cal Grant A assists low and middle-income students. It is based on the student’s financial need and grade point average. Students that list on their FAFSA forms that they will be attending a community college will only be considered for a CC Reserve Grant. This grant does not have monetary value for students enrolled in their first year at a community college. Also, new applicants that indicate that they will be at their senior level in college or higher will not be considered for Cal Grant A.

Cal Grant A and B apply to four-year college students. The difference between the two is that Cal Grant B assists very low-income, first-year students. Until June 30, 1997, new awards may be awarded to those students who have completed no more than one full-time semester, or two full-time quarters or 16 semester units of part-time study or the equivalent.

All loans awarded must be repaid when students graduate or withdraw from school. A six month grace period begins once the student graduates or fails to remain full time.

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