When a prospective student first walks onto MTI’s campus for their first tour, they are filled with excitement at the prospect of a new career. MTI offers Degree and/or Diploma programs in Paralegal, Legal Administrative Assisting, Cosmetology, Salon Management, Accounting, Business, Healthcare, and Technology, so the excitement is understandable. However, as the paperwork starts to appear and the application process goes into full swing, the financial aspects can be intimidating. That is why MTI’s Cal Grant eligibility for 2013 creates such a wonderful opportunity for the students at MTI.
I talked with Amy Norman, Financial Aid Advisor at MTI College, about the financial aid options that students have. She explained that the financial aid process, though it can seem complicated and overwhelming, is really rather straight-forward, especially with the assistance of the Financial Aid Advisors in the Financial Aid Office on campus. Students at MTI are able to apply not only for Student Loans, but also for the Pell Grant and Cal Grants.
Student Loans are exactly what they sound like. With options for both dependent and independent students and interest rates starting as low as 3.4% (for Subsidized Student Loans), a Student Loan may be exactly what any given student is looking for from Financial Aid. However, what about all these grants that are floating around; Pell Grants, Cal Grants, SEOG Grants? How on earth does one navigate that universe, one might ask? Fortunately, Amy Norman and Paula Perez, Director of Financial Aid, were able to explain how easy (and free!) the process is.
The first thing that any student looking to apply for Grants should do, Norman explained, is fill out the FAFSA (“Free Application for Federal Student Aid”) for 2013-2014 at www.fafsa.ed.gov. (Beware of any other FAFSA site – there are others that exist and will accurately file your information, but charge upwards of $80!) Norman said that many students worry that they need to have their taxes filed before they can start their FAFSA, or they’re so intimidated by the whole process so they let it slip by without taking advantage of the opportunity. Though having your taxes filed as early as possible will definitely help with obtaining accurate numbers from the FAFSA (your refund will be taken into account) all you really need to initially fill out the FAFSA is your 2012 income information. (If you’re dependent, you’ll need your parents’ income information, too.) Once your FAFSA is filed, drop by the Financial Aid office to check in and fill out a GPA Verification Worksheet. Once that’s in, you’re in the running for Pell Grants (a Federal Student Grant based on income and household size) and Cal Grants (State Grants). The sooner you fill out your FAFSA, though, the better since the deadline to apply for a Cal Grant is March 2nd.
To give you a little info on the Cal Grant specifically, now that MTI is eligible as of 2013, our students who qualify are eligible for as much as $4,000 per academic year based on which tier of the Cal Grant they qualify for. The money becomes available in September, but students who apply will most likely know whether or not they qualify for Cal Grant money by some point in July (or when the State passes the budget).
If at any point you are looking for assistance in this process, drop by the Financial Aid office (hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30am-7:30pm, Friday 8:30am-5:00pm) and bring your income documents with you. The Financial Aid Advisors will be happy to help you with getting all your financial ducks in a row to give you the best shot at some of these opportunities. Until then, remember that the only FAFSA site to use is www.fafsa.ed.gov and MTI’s school number is 008680. You’ll need to enter that in order for the Financial Aid office to access your FAFSA and put you on the road toward some potential Grants!
Where to file your 2013-2014 FAFSA: www.fafsa.ed.gov
MTI College school number: 008680
Deadline to file in order to qualify for Cal Grant: March 2, 2013
Financial Aid Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 8:30am-7:30pm, Friday 8:30am-5:00pm