Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Totaling $40 Billion a year, federal student aid led by Pell grants is by far the largest source of financial assistance to US college students.  State support which varies by state and usually is tied to federal definition of need is also a major contributor to a student’s ability to pay for college.  However, the federal process that requires the completion of the FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – is often intimidating.  In fact, surveys have shown that significant numbers of eligible college students, particularly at the nation’s community colleges, do not receive financial assistance because of the complicated forms and need for documentation. 

                            Rick Mortensen, STCC student, and Diana Rosado, financial aid staff

In an effort to provide additional information, a number of colleges have adopted a series of short videos produced by Financial Aid TV.  To view these videos at the STCC website go to:

Other efforts to reach students include holding workshops on financial aid availability and processes, improving communication via electronic media and helping students learn about aid and scholarships through their academic advisors.  These initiatives are yield results at Springfield Technical Community College as the fraction of students receiving federal and state aid has jumped from 50% in the fall, 2008 semester to 59% in the spring 2010 term.