Financial aid aimed at helping students through school

February 9, 2010 by DeSean Payne NMSU Round Up

Many New Mexico State University students may be having a difficult time affording college, especially due to the state of the economy, but applying early for financial aid can help students get back on track, said Janie Merchant, associate director of financial aid.

Free Application for Financial Aid

FASFA plays a large role in the success of many financial aid programs. In order to receive financial aid, a form needs to be filled out after Jan. 1, or a renewal form needs to be filled out if a FASFA form must be submitted, according to the New Mexico State University financial aid Web site fa.nmsu.edu.

For more information about the FASFA, visit www.fasfa.ed.gov, or the financial aid office located inside the Educational Services building.

Merchant said it is important to fill out the FASFA because other scholarships may depend on FAFSA eligibility.

Grants

Grants are separated into two different categories: need-based and non-need-based, according to fa.nmsu.edu. Need-based grants are usually federal grants given to students based on a financial need Merchant said. Private grants are given to students based not only on the need for money but also based on various qualities of a student such as race, gender and degree aspirations. For more information on finding and applying for federal grants, visit www.Grants.gov.

Loans

Most student loans require no payment until the student completes his or her degree program or drop below half-time status said Merchant.. Loans used most often by NMSU students and parents, according to the NMSU financial aid Web site at fa.nmsu.edu, include Access Group, Chase, Citibank, Nelnet, NM student loans and Wells Fargo. Merchant said loans on the website are available to in some form based on eligibility determined by the FAFSA. For links to these lenders and information about loans, visit fa.nmsu.edu/loans.

Scholarships

Like grants, are resources that don’t have to be paid back said Merchant. Some general university scholarships for current students include:

  • New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship
  • New Mexico Scholars
  • Legislative Endowment Scholarship
  • President’s Associates Excellence Scholarship
  • High Achiever Leadership Scholarship
  • Honors Excel Scholarship
  • Regents Success Scholarship
  • NMSU National Merit Scholarship
  • NMSU National Merit Semi-Finalist Scholarship
  • NMSU National Hispanic Scholars
  • Transfer Achievement Scholarship
  • Out-of-State Competitive Scholarship

Online search engines for scholarships outside the NMSU include fastweb.com and scholarships.com.

For more information about these scholarships or to apply, visit fa.nmsu.edu/sch02.html.

DeSean Payne is a staff writer and can be contacted at trunews@nmsu.edu.


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