DOBSON — In the competitive realm of student financial aid, a little savvy can make all the difference. The Educational Opportunity Center of Surry Community College is hosting Scholarship Application Day on Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on SCC’s Dobson campus.
The event is free to the public and refreshments will be offered to participants. According to Coordinator of Career Opportunities and Workforce Advancement Erica Smith, the idea to host a day on the application process was inspired by students during the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Fridays” previously held at the school.
The FAFSA is a form used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine a student’s Expected Family Contribution by conducting a “need analysis” based on student financial information including income, assets and other household information.
“Students told us there was a need for more support and guidance on filling out the FAFSA applications,” said Smith. “We’ve had a lot of calls over the last two weeks telling us they are interested. Students often don’t know where to start.” She said student interest in financial aid has remained constant over the past few years in the face of rising educational costs nationally.
Smith said technology also has had an impact on the process, making applications simpler if applicants have the computer skills. She encouraged participants to have a resume or get help from the college’s Career Resource Lab located behind the cashier’s desk in the A Building to write a resume. She explained this new lab, which opened in the spring, is funded through an Educational Opportunity Grant and offers free assistance to students.
“Students now want to take advantage of the assessments we can offer. They need to make cost-effective choices,” Smith said. “Over the past two years I’ve noticed students want to get on the right track quickly and know the direction they are going in. They want to have a plan and know approximately when they will be able to enter the job market.”
She said many websites will allow information to automatically “populate” or travel to other websites and said her staffers can provide assistance and insights because they use them every day.
Anyone needing help with admissions, financial aid or scholarship applications is encouraged to attend. For more information contact, Erica Smith at 336-386-3664.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-415-4739 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.