The Richmond Community College Financial Aid Office and the College Foundation of North Carolina are sponsoring FAFSA Day on Saturday, Feb. 23, in the RCC DeWitt Building from 9 a.m. to noon.
Students and their parents should bring copies of their completed 1040 Federal Income Tax forms. Preregister at www.cfnc.org/fafsaday through Feb. 20. Students applying to any college or university may attend.
“Everybody going to college should apply. It’s free and only takes minutes to complete. The federal government provides you information regarding your application within 48 hours,” said Bruce Blackmon, RCC Director of Financial Aid.
The high unemployment rate in Richmond and Scotland counties means parents may need assistance in sending children to college or may need to enroll for new job skills themselves. If they have one child who did not qualify last year and now have another child enrolling in college, their circumstances have changed, and they may qualify this year.
Blackmon said prospective students applying for scholarships may need a completed FAFSA if financial needs are a consideration.
RCC’s scholarship applications are now available from the Financial Aid Office as well as online at www.richmondcc.edu. The applications are due by March 23 and may require a completed FAFSA.
“Students who have completed their RCC applications by the priority deadline of March 15 will receive notification of their Pell awards in early April. The advantage of early filing is you have time to provide any additional information they request,” Blackmon said.
A major factor this year is the electronic connection between the federal government’s FAFSA office and the IRS. Applicants should complete their tax forms two weeks before coming to apply.
There is now a button on the electronic form, called the IRS Retrieval Tool, that pulls the information from a completed IRS tax form to populate the corresponding box on the FAFSA form. Applicants can apply with an estimated tax form, but they will have to re-file for the FAFSA once they file their taxes.
Blackmon said to avoid mistakes, read each question carefully and supply all of the information needed to complete the form.
“If any of the information is incorrect, such as a typographical error in the Social Security number, the federal and state agencies will not process it,” said Blackmon
RCC students now get their financial aid information via their student e-mail and can access their financial aid accounts throughout the year through WebAdvisor. It provides a permanent record of their awards.
For more information about financial aid opportunities, call RCC’s Financial Aid Office at 410-1726 or visit www.richmondcc.edu.