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Several options available for students seeking financial aid

By La Monica Everett-Haynes
Arizona Summer Wildcat
July 28, 1999
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Arizona Summer Wildcat

One thing every single college student needs is money - and lots of it.

While UA parents are sometimes willing to foot the bill, they often can't dish out hundreds of dollars each month during an average five-year college career.

The University of Arizona, the federal government and private institutions offer a number of ways to earn cash for college without dipping into the parents' checking accounts.

"I would feel under a lot of pressure if I had not received a lot of financial aid," said Jennifer Nowlin, a sophomore majoring in creative writing. "I would have to get at least two jobs to pay for my tuition or I would probably not have been attending the UA."

Nowlin managed to earn a Stafford Loan, a Pell Grant and also participates in work study.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, scholarships and work-study. Of the thousands of dollars in grants and scholarships available, many go unawarded each year because there are no applicants.

John Nametz, director of need-based aid, said it is crucial for students to get an early start on seeking assistance.

"I wouldn't advise anybody to start (applying) any later than today," he said. "Students have to start applying now, they've got to get on the program."

Every UA student is eligible to apply for financial aid in several forms including scholarships for engineering majors, students with parents in the military or those from a single-parent family.

For information on financial aid, visit either the Financial Aid Office in the Administration building, room 203 or the Scholarship Office in Old Main, room 232.

Federal financial aid includes Pell grants and other need-based grant programs, the various loan programs and the work study program, Nura Dualeh, assistant director for minority outreach, said in an e-mail interview.

"On the other hand, the scholarship office would deal with the processing of any private donor or institutional scholarship you may have been awarded," she said.

For additional information, the UA Main Library has several reference books on scholarships.

For a quicker, more informal search, there are thousands of Web pages that provide fast and free information on current financial aid opportunities.

"Don't pay for your scholarship search," Nametz said. "That's the best advice I can give. The pay searches will use the same database as the free ones."

Several companies, including Target and AT&T, provide scholarship and grant opportunities for students in mathematics-related fields and some banks provide loans to students too.

"Financial aid makes the cost of college manageable," said Kristy Forrester, a senior majoring in astronomy. "I didn't really think that much was possible during my first year because I thought it was only possible (to get financial aid) during the summer, but it wasn't."