Applying for financial aid can be a challenging process. Some students give up. Others miss the deadline. Some who should apply never do so in the first place.
Fortunately, help is available for Citrus students, but only to those who actively seek it.
Carol Thomas, director of financial aid, wants students to be informed about different services available to them.
To that end, she has developed a Financial Aid Fair featuring professionals from H&R Block, Foothill Credit Union, the Internal Revenue Service, as well as campus representatives.
The fair is scheduled for April 11, in the Campus Center Mall, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The professionals will answer any questions, offer advice, and hand out brochures and pamphlets.
The IRS will also present information seminars throughout the day when there are enough students to attend.
Many students may not realize what financial assistance is available for them. They may not realize that aid such as the Pell Grant or Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver are financial entitlements.
This means that if a qualified student applies and follows the guidelines, that student would be guaranteed aid.
In addition, Citrus College offers its own scholarships which range from $250 to $1,000 and sometimes even more.
“We try to reward students as much as possible,” said Katrina Hewitt, scholarship coordinator. However, scholarship money is often left on the table because few students apply.
If students don’t apply before they miss the April 5 deadline, then the donated scholarship money can be in jeopardy.
The remaining scholarship money may be returned to the donor, who then decides where it goes next.
One obstacle discouraging students from applying is “that they assume they do not qualify,” Thomas added. “Therefore they eliminate themselves [right] off the bat.”
Thomas said that the IRS will cover information about deductions and tax credits. The IRS can advise students on the American Opportunity Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, and the Hope Credit.
Irene Queen, a tax professional from H&R Block, explained that tax credits “reduce the amount of taxes that you pay.”
For more information about the Financial Aid Fair, go to www.citruscollege.edu and look under the financial aid tab. On the site, there is more information about the specific information about programs, disbursement, and contact information.