Financial aid application opens on October 1

Financial aid application opens on October 1

Uvalde, TX, September 22, 2020 – October 1 is fast approaching. College students and parents need to prepare for the annual visit to to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the application all current and prospective college students should complete annually to see if they are eligible to receive financial aid through the Department of Education as well as their colleges and universities and other resources.

Every year the Department of Education provides over $120 billion in Federal Student Aid in grants, work-study, and loans. This aid assists students in paying for tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, and transportation. Other items the assistance can help students fund are computers for school use and dependent care while they attend school.

The big question many people ask about financial aid is, “Who qualifies for financial aid?” To qualify for aid, a person must: demonstrate financial need; be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen; have a valid social security number; register for Selective Service, if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25; show you have a high school diploma, GED or completed high school education in a home-school setting approved under state law; and maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or a career school. The website is a good source for finding out more about eligibility for financial aid and answering questions you may have about financial aid.

“Financial Aid can be confusing and intimidating to people, but there is good information available to students and families on the internet, and also the financial aid departments at each college are great resources to help students,” said Southwest Texas Junior College Financial Aid Director, Yvette Hernandez. “Our staff works closely with area schools to provide information and guidance to students and their families on the financial aid process and assist them with completing their FAFSA.”

“It all starts with the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is what students need to complete to help determine their eligibility for financial aid,” stated Hernandez. “Every year, our advisors are very active in providing valuable information to area seniors and their families by going into their communities and meeting with them to complete their FAFSAs. This year we will be assisting students in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic. A student has to complete a new FAFSA every year they will be attending school, so it is good to complete their FAFSA as soon after it opens in October as possible. The FAFSA is looking at the 2019 household income and tax information. The website to complete the financial aid application is”

Hernandez continued, “This year the state of Texas has instituted a new law which requires all high school seniors to complete a FAFSA as part of their graduation requirements, so we encourage all students and parents to begin the process as early as possible to get it completed and off of their graduation checklist. We suggest that students submit their FAFSA by the priority deadline for Texas public colleges of January 15, 2021, but also follow up with any schools they are applying to find out if they have an earlier priority deadline for the FAFSA submission. Students can include up to 10 schools on their FAFSA application. We hope area students and families will consider SWTJC for the next step in their education journey. Our school code is 003614.”

The Department of Education has added a mobile app that can be downloaded and used on mobile devices to complete a FAFSA and check on additional financial aid information.

The app is the myStudentAid app and can be downloaded for Apple and Android devices at their app stores.

The phone number for the SWTJC Financial Aid Department is (830) 591-7368. Students and families can also get assistance on the FAFSA through the TRIO Educational Opportunity Centers at SWTJC. The EOC staff contacts are Gladue Tafolla, (830) 275-3053 Uvalde and Pearsall campus; Omar Iracheta, (830) 275-2342 Eagle Pass campus; Maria De Hoyos, (830) 279-1778 Del Rio campus; Diana P. Garcia, (830) 279-1775 Director.