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GHS to host college financial aid workshop



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December 16, 2009 - By Chelsea Belanger

Staff Writer

College expenses too much? In the current economy paying tuition can seem overwhelming, but properly applying for financial aid can make all the difference.

At 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, in the Goodrich High School cafeteria, 8029 S. Gale Road, there will be a college financial aid workshop, instructed by Gerald McCarty. McCarty is vice president for student services at Baker College in Flint, and this will be his 22nd year teaching the workshop at Goodrich.

"The aim of the workshop is to help parents and students feel confident about filing for financial aid," McCarty said.

The workshop will focus on how to properly fill out the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid). In order for a college to determine how much money a student is eligible to receive, they must fill out the FAFSA. Then once the application is sent to the appropriate colleges and universities, the students will receive "award letters" informing the student how much money they're eligible for and what kind of money they're eligible for.

"There are three ways to receive financial aid," McCarty said. "There are grants and scholarships which are considered free money, that's money you don't need to pay back. There's work study, that's when a student somehow works for a college and the money they make goes toward tuition costs. Lastly, there are loans, which is money you must pay back, with interest."

"The FAFSA is very similar to a tax return," said Goodrich High School Counselor Bob Foreback.

"The questions change every year and some can be confusing so we have a financial aid expert come in to walk us through the process and answer questions." An estimated 70 students and parents will attend the workshop.

Jan. 1 is the first day the FAFSA can be submitted and the website to begin filling it out is www.fafsa.com. But before the form can be submitted, the student and one parent must each get a four digit pin number which can be attained from www.pin.ed.gov.

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