College Staff to Assist Students, Parents in Meeting March 1 Maryland Deadline
LA PLATA, Md.—College of Southern Maryland staff will be available to assist students and parents filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at the La Plata Campus during two sessions between noon and 4 p.m. on Jan. 27. The free workshop is provided as a service to people in the tri-county region who are seeking financial assistance for tuition at CSM or any educational institution for the 2013-14 academic year.
"The FAFSA form is not difficult to fill out, but a misunderstanding or miscalculation can significantly impact a student's eligibility for financial aid," said CSM Financial Assistance Department Director Christian Zimmermann, who added that attendees should come prepared with information to fill out the form with assistance from CSM staff. Prior to the event, attendees should obtain a pin number and complete a pre-application worksheet through http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/, and bring student and parent records such as social security numbers, 2012 federal income tax returns, 2012 W-2 statements and untaxed income records such as Social Security, child support and veteran's benefits.
Due to rising educational costs and the state of the economy, Zimmermann has seen a significant increase in the numbers of FAFSA applications over the past three years. CSM has seen 56 percent more FAFSA applications submitted between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 academic years. In addition, the number of students at CSM receiving financial aid has increased by 40 percent, from 2,983 in the 2008-09 academic year to 4,163 in the 2011-12 academic year.
According to a report in U.S. News & World Report, "Although students have until June 30, 2013 to complete the form, the U.S. Department of Education states that the FAFSA includes a few first-come, first-served federal student aid programs. Therefore, if students wait to complete the form, they may not be able to take advantage of these valuable opportunities." To avoid missing out on first-come, first-served federal student aid programs and to meet early state deadlines, students should complete their FAFSA forms sooner rather than later. Maryland's deadline is March 1, 2013.
"Not all scholarships with the CSM Foundation are need-based, however, CSM does require all students to complete a FAFSA as a part of the scholarship application process," said CSM Development Director Martina Arnold, who added that Feb. 4 through May 31 the online Scholarship Finder will be active for students applying for 2013-14 academic year scholarships.
FAFSA workshops will be held from 12-2 p.m. and from 2-4 p.m. at the Francis P. Chiaramonte, MD Center for Science and Technology (ST) Building on the La Plata Campus. To register, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-934-7531 and press "0" to speak with a representative.
For information on financial aid at CSM, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Financial/apply.html
For information on CSM's Scholarship Finder, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Financial/scholarships/