Opinion

New York State Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R, I, C - East Meadow) wants to educate students on ways that they can receive help with paying for college.

"I understand the difficulty and stress that goes along with going to college, especially the stress of having to pay for it. To help those of you who are entering the phase of looking into schools and those who have decided and now need to look at financial options, here are a few resources that may help you with your needs" McKevitt stated.

With the increasing costs one must incur by attending a four-year school, New York State financial aid services are rapidly growing. Financial aid is a service provided by the federal government that helps pay for college costs. There are many options that are available to students such as Pell Grants, Work-Study, Perkins Loans, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Many may also receive scholarships and awards.

Applying for financial aid can be fast, easy, and free! The HESC, which is New York's financial aid agency, provides safe and easy links on its website to help you. If you are interested in applying for and receiving financial aid, log on to www.hesc.org.

Students can also retrieve Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) documents through their high school counselors. In order to complete these forms, parents must provide W-2 forms, end-of-year pay stubs, records of last year's untaxed income and federal and state income forms for the student and parents, and bank account balances. If you provide your e-mail address on the financial aid documents, be sure to watch out for e-mail notices indicating if you are eligible and if your application has been processed.

"Thinking about the future and what is to come may be a scary thing for many students. However, this is the time to be excited and to prepare yourself for the future. Students should make sure that they meet requirements for graduation, have outlined what they want from a school and chosen the one that fits them best. Finally, attend financial aid seminars to help you decide which plan will help you the most and save you money."


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