FAFSA speech reveals changes, gives advice

Money saving tips given by faculty, students and financial adviser

By Courtney Stinson
On March 23, 2017

Comic by Patrick Fleming

"After you apply for financial aid, you might get offered a Pell Grant, which is free money and my favorite kind of financial aid," William Bloom, director of financial aid, said.

Bloom and Bill Peacock, financial adviser for the Peacock Group, spoke to students Feb 28. about personal finance.

They discussed different types of financial aid, including student loans, but also planning for the future and investing.

"This year, when you file your FAFSA, some things are a little different," Bloom said. "They’re now using two-year-old tax data, which is important because a lot of things can change in two years economically for your family."

He emphasized the importance of accepting all possible grants and scholarships before relying on student loans.

Kristian Fater, junior, talked about what student loans mean and the effect they have.

"Having to take out federal student loans makes me understand the importance of going to class and making good grades," Fater said. "Fortunately, since I will be entering the medical field, I’ll be eligible for loan forgiveness and I am very thankful for that."

Bloom offered some tips; never borrow more money than needed, and always ask about loan forgiveness and if the field of study is eligible.

Alen Southammavong also has student loans and is affected by the pressure to find a job after college.

"Hopefully, with a degree, I’ll be able to find a job and pay them off quickly so it won’t affect my life too much," Southammavong said. "However, I know the importance of having them and being responsible."

Later in the finance meeting, Peacock introduced ways to save money for the long and short term.

"A great way for college students to get started on saving for the long term is opening up an IRA," Peacock said. "You can invest up to $5,500 a year, but cannot take any money out until you are 59.5 years old. To save for short term, you can open a savings account and have the ability to access the money sooner."

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