California, I O
July is usually the month when eligible students receive their Cal Grant eligibility notifications indicating their award size. Unfortunately, since the state failed to adopt a budget an IOU system was imposed. Instead, Cal Grant recipients are receiving noticies of what they PROBABLY will receive EVENTUALLY. Two keywords there, probably and eventually.
At DVC, around 600 students will be affected by this “delay” of the Cal Grant. Many Cal Grant recipients are first generation students who rely on the aid that the federal and the state governements provide to afford college expenses. However, with the Cal Grant program in jeopardy, many of these students may be forced to put their college goals on hold.
You can read more about the California IOU here.
What can you do to prepare?
Inquire about the Federal Work-Study Program
Many offices and departments on campus hire student workers to help them out. With budget cuts affecting the campus across the board, many departments will consider hiring student workers to supplement the help they need. If the student is eligible for the Pell Grant, they may be eligible for the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program. Monies earned while working on or off campus can allow students to supplement the money they could have received through the Cal Grant. Plus working in a professional environment allows the student to gain experience working in an office setting which can definitely boost a student’s resume. Another benefit of working through the FWS program is that student workers are only allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week. This allows for students to put their studies first instead of their job. Visit the Financial Aid Office for more information.
BUDGET! BUDGET! BUDGET!
We can all learn something from this budget crisis California is in: BUDGET!!! Knowing how much money is coming in and not spending more than that will definitely keep us away from “cutting” priorities (like our education). Click here for a website that lists free budgeting softwares for download or online programs (I personally use Mint.com – it keeps track of all my income, debts, and shows me where I could be saving money). Seriously keeping track of your income and expenses will allow you to see where your money is going and make those necessary cuts (not priorities – shopping, eating out, etc.).
Apply for Scholarships
We cannot emphasize it enough! APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS!!! Thousands and thousands of money go unclaimed every year through scholarships because students don’t apply for them. You can receive a scholarship for being musically or artistically inclined, because your grades are high, or simply because you are left handed! There is a scholarship out there for every type of student! For more information about scholarships, please visit the DVC Scholarship Office or by visiting Fastweb.com – a free scholarship search.
There’s a little more work that needs to be done, but never let financing your college education be the deterrent to pursuing your college dreams.