College Students Miss Out on Financial Aid

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JACKSON, Tenn. — Students miss out on free funding for college. New government data shows millions of students do not apply for federal aid. “There are millions of dollars that are unclaimed every year,” Paula Fuller said, a recruitment manager at Jackson State Community College. “A lot of times they have the idea that they won’t be able to get the financial aid.” Fuller says between 60 percent and 70 percent of JSCC students apply for some type of financial assistance. She estimates between 63 percent and 68 percent receive some type of financial aid. “A lot of times because there is a little bit of paperwork that needs to be done or it may kind of go into their personal records,” Fuller said. “They tend to shy away from it.” New research shows 2 million students qualified for need-based federal funding during the 2011-2012 school year, but failed to apply. “It can feel overwhelming,” John Windham said, Director of Student Financial Planning at Union University. “It really can for families who perhaps have students that are the first in their family to attend college.” Windham says more than 90 percent of Union University students receive some type of financial aid. JSCC and Union University both have staff to help guide students through the application process. “Federal money is available at all times,” said Fuller. “You can apply at any point.” Experts say students should not automatically exclude themselves by not applying. Copy and paste this link into your browser for more information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

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