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Financial aid and scholarship offices collaborate to help students understand FAFSA

The University of Memphis scholarship and financial aid offices encourage students to update their Free Application for Financial Student Aid information while visiting different departments on campus.   

Karen Smith, the director of financial aid at the UofM, said it is important for students to meet deadlines in order to receive their eligibility.

“There are limited dollars with some of our financial aid and scholarship programs,” Smith said. “So it is important for students to complete and submit all required financial aid documents as soon as possible.”

The application for the FAFSA opened Oct. 1, 2018, for students to complete and submit before the upcoming year. To determine any grant or scholarship opportunities, it is important to turn in all required documents in a timely manner.

Both offices are planning to engage with current students as it relates to the FAFSA completion for the 2019-20 academic year.  

“For students, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a required document,” Smith said. “If the FAFSA is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, then other documents will be required, such as verification form and appropriate year tax transcript.”

Once the student submits the application, it takes a couple of business days for the office to process it. The United States Deptartment of Education notifies the financial aid or scholarship office about certain students who may need additional documents to verify their information provided. Smith said the office is going to visit all the departments around the campus on selected days.

“We are visiting all the colleges,” Smith said. “Students could set up appointments ahead of time in order to bring by any 1920 required documents posted on their MyMemphis portal under the Account$ tab under Financial Aid Requirements.”

All students are invited to participate by setting an appointment within their department or by logging into their portal before meeting with a scholarship or financial representative. The goal of both offices is to gain and receive a lot of FAFSA information before the next upcoming semester.

“Our goal is to get students to submit required documents before the spring semester ends and prior to the fall semester so that financial aid awards are ready to package after spring grades are posted,” Smith said. “We also have financial aid and scholarship information sessions held during each fall and spring semester to keep students aware of any changes in financial aid or scholarship requirements.”

UofM financial aid and scholarship outreach coordinator Matthew Rhodes said students can meet with counselors if they need further assistance.

“We send those students an invitation to set an appointment with financial aid office representatives during a specified time in each of the University of Memphis Colleges,” Rhodes said. “Students who are not able to set an appointment are encouraged to either drop in during the specified time range or to visit the Enrollment Services Center in room 103 of Wilder Tower to receive assistance with completing their financial aid requirements.”

Those missing required documents may visit the financial and scholarship office on campus. The offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

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