By Fatima Magana '22
ALLIANCE, OH- Are you a prospective Raider or current student? If yes, this blog is for you! Although you might be getting ready to graduate high school, you are also getting ready to fill out or finalize your first time or returning Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming academic year.
April is Financial Literacy Month, and the University of Mount Union is educating students and parents on the importance of the FAFSA and why students need to fill out the FAFSA application. By completing the FAFSA, Mount Union Raiders may be eligible for financial assistance such as grants and loans to help them reach their academic goals.
Students who wish to borrow loans can do so by taking out either a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans do not acquire interest while students are still in school.
Therefore, the Office of Student Financial Aid encourages students to borrow Direct loans because they have lower interest rates, require no additional applications to be approved, and these loans help students build credit.
Some students have never heard about FAFSA which impacts the number of applicants a university receives. The FAFSA is a federal application that every high school senior and college student fills out every academic year to determine how much financial aid they will receive from the designated college or university they will attend.
Many students are confused as to how many times the FAFSA application needs to be completed. High school seniors sometimes assume that they only fill out the FAFSA once to be eligible for aid throughout their college years.
However, a new application must be completed every academic year especially when a family’s household and financial situations can change from year to year.
To determine how much money you will receive, the FAFSA requires you to submit information from your parents’ tax return, if you are a dependent student. If you are an independent student, you must submit information from your own tax return.
The university’s Office of Student Financial Aid determines how many merit and need based scholarships, grants, and loans the student is eligible to receive to pay for most of the students’ college expenses by using the information they submitted on the application.
Mount Union offers student scholarships like the Manzilla Multicultural Award which is awarded to any student who is part of a minority such as being African American, Hispanic or Latino/a, or Asian-American, or first-generation student, the Esports scholarship and cheer and dance scholarship which are given to students who will partake in Mount Union’s esports team or cheerleading or dance team.
Grants are awarded to students based on their financial need. Students may qualify for the Mount Union Pell Opportunity Grant or the Mount Union Ohio Opportunity Grant.
To be eligible for any loans, a students’ grade level impacts the amount they receive. First year students can borrow up to $5,500, a second-year student can borrow up to $6,500 and third and fourth-year students can borrow up to $7,500.
Lastly, we encourage you to file your FAFSA application by Monday, May 1, 2023, at https://studentaid.gov/. If you have any questions or need help with your application, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at (330) 823-2674 or stop in at the Gartner Welcome Center.