Story by Ashley Traylor, Staff writer
Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA, can be a difficult process to some. Murray State’s financial aid office is working to inform students about the application process.
Cassie Fannin, senior from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, said there is not one part of the process that is difficult, but the whole application is hard because you have to set your information up and if it doesn’t save, you have to do over again.
Morgan Page, junior from Campbellsville, Kentucky, also said she thinks the process is difficult and repetitive for students.
The financial aid office is holding FAFSA workshops to make the application process easier for students. A student can come into the financial aid office and someone will go through each step of the process with him or her.
“We help them respond to the question, so that way it gives them a feel for what they have to do,” said Teresa Palmer, associate director of financial aid. “Then, every year will it make it easier for them.”
She said the one-on-one workshops have been very beneficial for the students.
Palmer said she does not know why students have difficulty filling out the application.
Palmer said the FAFSA application changed four years ago.
There is a tab on the FAFSA application called “transfer my information.” It will pull tax returns from the IRS and transfer the data needed for the application back in.
All of the demographic information should transfer back in year after year, she said.
Students who do not wish to complete FAFSA must fill out a denial form.
Fannin said filling out a denial form is ridiculous and a waste of time.
“Why take the time out of the day to fill something out that you’re not going to get? It’s like taking a class you don’t even need. It is a waste of time,” Fannin said.
There are posters around campus reminding students of important changes for Fall 2016.
The first set of refund checks for students with credit balances will be available Aug. 31, and students who wish to receive financial aid must visit www.fafsa.ed.gov to complete the application.
FAFSA is a grant from the government, but students who are residents of Kentucky are eligible for scholarships through Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship, KEES.
The Kentucky lottery funds the KEES scholarships given out to high school seniors.
Based on GPA, scholarship amounts range from $125 for a 2.5 GPA to $500 for a 4.0.
The scholarship is renewable with your college GPA, and the student must complete a certain number of credit hours to make sure they are progressing through their program, Palmer said.
Depending on these requirements, a student may receive 50 percent or 100 percent of the award.
There are no applications to fill out for KEES.
The financial aid office reports GPA and credit hours to the state every year, and they will report to the schools if the student is rewarded.