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Want to Maximize Your College Financial Aid Package? Here’s How: Tips from OCU Student Financial Services
OKLAHOMA CITY – Planning how to pay for college tuition can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Scholarships, grants and loans make college accessible for millions of students each year and securing the aid you need can be a smooth process, explained Denise Flis, senior director for student financial services at Oklahoma City University. Many universities, like Oklahoma City University, have a streamlined application process where a student’s application for admission also serves as an application for merit-based scholarships. Flis said students can also apply for numerous grants and loans at once by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Flis offers these tips for successful financial aid planning: · Complete the FAFSA by March 1. “Some grant and work study funds are limited and awarded by need on a first-come, first-served basis,” Flis explained. “It is vital that students complete their FAFSA to be eligible to receive assistance.” · Pay attention to your ACT or SAT scores and your high school grade point average. “Academic scholarships are typically based on these factors,” she said. · Complete an entrance interview if you receive federal loans. “Students are required to complete this step and it is vital for borrowers to understand the importance of accepting a loan and the requirements in paying back a loan,” Flis said. “Student loans are a secure way for a student to finance their educations in addition to begin building sound credit.” Students may be offered subsidized or unsubsidized loans, Flis said. The federal government pays the interest on subsidized loans for students while they are in school. Flis said OCU considers students’ academic talents, personal qualities and financial need when determining eligibility for financial assistance and each year, some 90 percent of OCU students receive financial assistance in the form of scholarships, grants or loans. To complete the FAFSA online, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov. For more information about financial aid at Oklahoma City University, visit www.okcu.edu/financialaid.