Financial aid benefits two out of three UA students

Amy Schweigert

Arizona Daily Wildcat

In the 1993-94 academic year, two out of three students at the University of Arizona received financial aid, said the office of financial aid.

As of 1992, "every U.S. family qualifies for some sort of financial aid," under the Federal Family Educational Loan Program, said Director of Financial Aid, Phyllis Bannister.

The aid the university offers includes scholarships, waivers, grants, work study, and loans.

The first step for students wishing to receive financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The application can be picked up at any high school, community college, or at the UA's Financial Aid Office in the administration building.

The application must be filled out annually and includes instructions on how and where information must be sent. The information students provide on the application determines what kind of aid they are eligible to receive.

The '96-'97 priority date for the application is March 1, 1996. Aid for the current year is still accessible by filling out the '95-'96 FAFSA application.

Scholarships are awarded to students based in part on their academic performance and do not need to be paid back. Students who do not qualify for scholarships or other free money can take loans to cover college costs, Bannister said.

A distinction exists between subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans are offered to students who show need according to the FAFSA. The interest payment on these loans is deferred while students are in school.

Matthew Noli, a sophomore receiving Stafford loans, said he "wouldn't be here if I didn't have financial aid." The drawbacks to financial aid are the "red tape and paperwork," he said.

Dahlia Fernandez, a marketing sophomore at the UA receiving both loans and grants, said she does not know much about the financial aid process overall. She said she is "going to school now and will pay back later."

Bannister pointed out that aid is also available through outside resources.

Fund Finder is a free, on line data base of available scholarships that the public can browse through. The system is located in Old Main's Scholarship Office, room 235.

Parents can also look to their employers for those offering Tuition Remission programs to finance tuition costs.

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