Columbia College hosts financial aid workshop

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat /

Columbia College will host a free financial aid workshop on Saturday to help students complete financial aid paperwork before the filing deadline of Sunday for some state benefits.

The workshop includes assistance for undocumented students filing Dream Act paperwork which is also due Sunday.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Buckeye Building, financial aid staff will answer questions and provide assistance to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

Filing for the FAFSA makes one eligible for federal income-based financial aid and several state aid programs and work study programs.

Undocumented students are also welcome and will receive assistance in completing the Dream Act application.

The Dream Act is for undocumented students who attended a California high school for 3 years and graduated or completed their General Educational Development, or GED. It allows them to get state financial aid, but not federal, according to Dana Baker, financial aid technician.

FAFSA applicants need to bring:

• Social Security Card or Alien Registration Card

• Driver's license

• 2013 income data for student and for student's guardians if "dependent" - federal income tax forms, or year-end pay stubs if a 2013 tax return hasn't been filed

• Any records of untaxed income such as welfare benefits, social security benefits, or child support payments

• A list of colleges they are interested in attending

Dependent students must bring a parent and a parent's financial information to complete the FAFSA.

A student is "independent" if they answer yes to any of the following questions:

• Were you born before January 1, 1991?

• As of today, are you married?

• Are you currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces for purposes other than training?

• Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?

• Do you have children or other dependents who receive more than half of their support from you?

• At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a dependent of or ward of the court?

• Are you a documented unaccompanied homeless youth.

Undocumented students must bring just the financial information listed above.

For more information, call the Columbia College Financial Aid Office at (209) 588-5105 or (209) 588-5272.

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