‘FAFSA February’ Helps Students Obtain Financial Aid
OGDEN, Utah – To assist students seeking federal money for education, Weber State University is sponsoring “FAFSA February,” with sessions throughout the month in various locations in Ogden, Layton and Roy.
In order to qualify for federal tuition assistance, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) paperwork. The priority deadline is March 1. Students who qualify and meet that deadline are more likely to receive funds.
“The impact of taking this first step toward college is so important because it increases the access of post-secondary education for those students who might otherwise think college is out of their reach,” said Rebecca Tierney, Education Access and Outreach.
No appointment is necessary for the free events. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions and walk applicants through the FAFSA process, including assistance in Spanish. Applicants and their parents/guardians (or spouses if married) must have filed a 2012 federal income tax return in order to complete the FAFSA application. So those interested in federal aid are strongly encouraged to file their taxes a minimum of two weeks prior to attending FAFSA February events.
For help filing taxes, WSU’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free consultations for anyone with an annual income of less than $50,000. Tax volunteers are available during sessions four days each week in February at the Ogden and WSU Davis campuses. For appointments, individuals can dial 211 or visit utahtaxhelp.org.
Students who apply and qualify for federal assistance are also eligible for WSU’s Dream Weber program. First introduced in January 2010, Dream Weber offers up to eight semesters of tuition for those whose annual household income is equal to or less than $27,000. Since 2010, 2,506 students have received funding from the program. In addition to tuition, Dream Weber covers the cost of student fees, which is $800 annually.
“Financial hardship shouldn’t be an impediment to pursuing the dream of a college education,” said Provost Michael Vaughan. “This program is WSU’s commitment to helping provide entry-level access to higher education; Weber State is proud of its long track record of serving the community college role for northern Utah.”
Dream Weber recipients have already earned 252 bachelor’s degrees and 400 associate’s degrees.
In addition to the household income and Utah resident requirements, Dream Weber students are required to carry a full course load of at least 12 credits. A student can receive an award for up to eight semesters — long enough to complete a bachelor’s degree. Both current and prospective students are eligible to apply if they meet the requirements.