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Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships to host their final FAFSA workshop

Illustration by Akhila Nadimpalli.

The University of Kentucky Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships is hosting workshops to assist students with filling out the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, according to BBNvolved.

Students can attend the final workshop on Feb. 1 at the Cornerstone-Innovation Lab from 12-2 p.m. if they missed the workshops on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18.

Workshops are free to attend, but students must RSVP on BBNvolved.

Over the last 20 years, the average cost of attending a public university has risen by 158% for in-state students and 127% for out-of-state students, according to USNews

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) assists almost 19 million college students nationwide, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.

The Federal Student Aid (FSA) website said the application determines students’ eligibility for government grants, including the Pell Grant, scholarships, work-study funds and loans. 

The Pell Grant is awarded to students of low-income households. It was worth up to $7,395 in the 2023-24 school year, depending on a student’s expected family contribution (EFC). 

Last year, 91% of students received financial aid, such as institutional scholarships, federal grants, and state grants, none of which were indebted to the university, state or federal government, according to the University Budget Office

Majority of these students received federal grants and state grants in addition to their institutional scholarships.

To receive this form of government aid, the FAFSA must be renewed each year, according to the FSA website.

Cassidy Mosser, a freshman integrated strategic communication major, said she finds the process tricky to navigate.

I just need guidance with FAFSA renewal from last year and setting up accounts,” Mosser said. 

With the retrieval of tax forms, employment information, and personal earnings and holdings, the FAFSA form may be confusing for some students.

“We put these together so that students can come in and have help since it is different than what they have completed in the past to make sure they are answering the questions correctly so they can maximize their aid eligibility,” Jennifer Belcher, outreach coordinator and financial aid counselor, said.

Belcher said the new layout of the 2024-25 FAFSA along with new questions being added to the form influences the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (OSFAS) to host these workshops for the second year.

“Some of the questions ask for tax information. Me and my parents don’t really know too much about it,” first-year nursing major Zachary Gammon said.

This year’s workshop for the 2024-25 FAFSA has been modified to focus on answering the questions that come with the recently updated FAFSA form available on the FSA website, according to Belcher.

They reformatted it to make it a simpler process for families to hopefully be a little clearer in the questions that they are asking so families can answer them a little easier and also to help provide more students with grant aid, in the form of Pell Grants more specifically,” Belcher said.

The form was released in late December rather than Oct. 1 due to the updates, according to the United States Department of Education.

The later application date rollout should not affect receiving federal aid. However, the delay could affect a student’s chance of receiving state aid, as state deadlines were aligned with the old rollout date of Oct. 1.

Though students have until June 30, 2025, to submit their FAFSA, students should check their home state’s deadline for state-funded aid, according to the FSA website.

 OSFAS said students are encouraged to fill out the form soon to maximize their potential aid amount before the budgeting for federal aid runs out.

Those who do not have the chance to attend the OSFAS-hosted workshops may attend cohort-specific workshops with the CARES program, the First-Generation Office and Student Support Services, Belcher said.

“There is also an opportunity in the works for the state of Kentucky for a Saturday for parents to come (and) students. More information will be sent out on BBNvolved,” Belcher said.

Students looking for more information on the OSFAS workshops may visit BBNvolved or contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at 859-257-3172. 

Information on the FAFSA form may be found on the FSA website.

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