Financial Aid Office Provides Students With Monetary Assistance

DIANA PETRAS
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Every student knows that a college education requires a lot of money.

Like many colleges and universities, GCC has a financial aid office that can provide students with money for their education.
The Financial Aid Office is located in the San Fernando Complex; it helps more than 10,000 students each year. They offer programs that the Federal Government and the State of California provide for students who need help in covering their costs of tuition in college.

Students have to fill out applications to see if they are eligible for one of the programs. Pat Hurley, Associate Dean and Director of Financial Aid, said that most students fill out the Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver application, which is awarded to students throughout the academic year.

According to Hurley, there are three types of BOGs that students can qualify for: Type A, Type B, or Type C. After applying for a BOG, a student can see what BOG they qualify for by checking with the Financial Aid Office. Students could also check the GCC Financial Aid website.

For BOG Type A, the student or the student’s parent has to show proof that they are receiving AFDC/TANF, SSI, or General Relief benefits. Students receiving BOG Type A might even qualify for a discount on campus parking.

BOG Type B is based on the state mandated income ceiling.
The BOG Type C is available for students who don’t meet the criteria for Type A or Type B. Students who can show at least $1 of financial need after filing the FAFSA (Fee Application for Federal Student Aid) form can receive BOG Type C. However, students might need to fill out additional forms depending upon the fee waiver they receive.

The forms can be confusing for some, but the Financial Aid Office has workers who are always there to lend a helping hand.

There are also workshops to help those who are confused about how to fill out the FAFSA forms and those staffing the front desk are also available to answer any questions students have.

There are also Financial Aid advisers who can assist students who have questions that concerning specific areas.

Students can also apply for Cal Grants or fill out a FAFSA to see what federal grants they can receive.

“Only about half of the students attending GCC are receiving financial aid,” said Hurley. “The other half that are not receiving financial aid may be passing up on a great opportunity.”
All students are encouraged to apply for financial aid. The income of those receiving financial aid can range from $0 to $30,000 or higher.

There are FAFSA forms in front of the Financial Aid office, online, and inside the office. The GCC Financial Aid website also provides links to other forms that students can print or fill out at home and turn it in to the office when they can. The site also has other websites that can assist students who need financial assistance.

The entire financial aid process only takes a few weeks, after which students will receive an Aid Award Notification that tells them if they have been awarded any funds.

Students are not required to visit the office to check their financial aid status.

Hurley said that students can always check their financial aid status on STARS, MyGCC.com, on the WebReg, or at the GCC kiosks.
“It may be a little time-consuming for some students,” said Hurley, “It’s a long process, but the rewards are well worth all the work and the wait.”

Students have to be sure that they submit all extra information that the Financial Aid Office may need to see in relation to any financial aid they are eligible for.

Financial Aid Office hours are posted on the doors of the office and are shown on the Financial Aid website. If there are other questions or comments, contact the Financial Aid Office at (818)240-1000, ext. 5916 for more information.