Student Support Services - FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Financial Assistance is monetary aid designed to help cover the cost of a college education. Financial Assistance is intended to supplement the family and student contribution to the cost of a college education. Financial Assistance includes grants, scholarships, loans, and part-time employment. 
*Visit the Financial Assistance Office located on the 3rd floor of N. Shepler or their website.


Applying for Financial Assistance

Applying for Federal Financial Assistance is as easy as filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is available in the Financial Assistance Office located on the 3rd floor of N. Shepler. You will need a copy of last year's income tax return to fill out the FAFSA. There are three ways to file the FAFSA: 

  • Electronically via the Web:
    You can apply electronically by accessing the Department of Education's FAFSA Website and completing the form online. 
  • Electronically at Cameron:
    You can apply electronically using FAFSA Express, which is located on computers in the Trio Computer Lab. These computers are available Mon-Fri, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm in room 436 N. Shepler. 
  • Mail in the Form:
    You can obtain a paper copy of the form from the Financial Assistance lobby area. 

  • PELL GRANT 
  • OKLAHOMA TUITION AID GRANT (OTAG) 
  • SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (SEOG) 

A Pell Grant is based on financial need. A Pell Grant does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are only awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree. 

To qualify for a Pell Grant , the U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate your family's Expected Family Contribution (EFC). 



An Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG) does not have to be repaid. A student must fill out the FAFSA application and leave question #104 blank. By leaving this question blank, it will default to yes and automatically send your information to the Oklahoma State Regents. 

To qualify for OTAG a student must: 

  • Be an Oklahoma State Resident 
  • If considered dependent on the FAFSA, the parents must be Oklahoma residents 
  • Have an effective family income of less than $20,000 
  • Be enrolled at least half-time 
  • Meet all other eligibility requirements for federal aid 


A Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) does not have to be repaid and is for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. 

To qualify for a SEOG, a student's Expected Family Contribution is normally 0. As well, you must have a completed application in the Financial Assistance Office by the end of February of the proceeding year in order to be considered. For example, awards for 1998-99 were made in February 1998. 


  • SUBSIDIZED STAFFORD LOAN 
  • UNSUBSIDIZED STAFFORD LOAN 

A subsidized Stafford loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest before you begin repayment or during authorized periods of deferment. The federal government "subsidizes" the interest during these periods. 

An unsubsidized Stafford loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. 

To qualify for a Stafford loan you must be a degree seeking student, and enrolled at least half-time. You must fill out a FAFSA application as well as a loan application. 

****KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU MUST PAY BACK A STUDENT LOAN!****


Work Study

  • FEDERAL 
  • STATE 

Federal work study is determined by need. A completed FAFSA is required to apply for a Federal work study position. 

State work study is not based on need. To qualify for state work study you must have a Social Security Card and a picture ID. 

Both Federal and State work study positions are allowed up to 20 hours per week. 

**Check with the Financial Assistance Office for further information concerning work study positions. 


SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarships are a type of financial assistance which does not have to be repaid. Funds are provided through civic and religious organizations, professional groups, foundations, corporations, cultural groups, and by colleges. Scholarships can be based on academic excellence, personal skills, family affiliations, athletic ability, need, and other factors. 


WHERE TO FIND SCHOLARSHIPS

Student Support Services has compiled a notebook of scholarships available to students. A separate notebook of Internet Web scholarship sites is also available. These scholarship notebooks are located in the SSS lobby area and contain the qualifications of each scholarship and a copy of the scholarship application. Students are welcomed to come and look through the applications. 

The Financial Assistance Office also has a booklet of scholarships available to students. New and updated applications are normally placed in the booklet in January. 

Academic Schools have a limited number of scholarships for students who have demonstrated success or high potential in individual studies. The award amounts and criteria varies, but are usually restricted to students majoring in a particular academic discipline. If you are interested in a departmental scholarship, contact the appropriate academic school. 

Vocational Rehabilitation Office offers tuition and book scholarships to students with disabilities. 

Scholarship Web-Site Searches usually take from 10-30 minutes. Results are generally received in 1-5 minutes. *You should beware of any search companies that charge for their services!


SCHOLARSHIP TIPS 

Applying for scholarships is serious business. Seldom does an applicant meet the scholarship selection committee. The committee must base its selection on the applications. The application represents YOU, the applicant. If the application is sloppy, dirty, or incomplete it sends a message to the selection committee about you and it may not be the image you would like them to have! Presentation is important. The following tips can make a critical difference in being chosen as a scholarship recipient. 

  1. READ the application instructions carefully before completing anything. Be sure you understand exactly what information they require. If in doubt, ASK! Do not apply for a scholarship for which you do not meet the requirements. 
  2. TYPE the application. If having access to a computer is absolutely impossible for you, print VERY NEATLY and LEGIBLY. ( The Trio Computer Lab has computers available) 
  3. PROVIDE all the information that the application requires. Double check your completed application to insure that all required items are there. Leaving out just one small item can cause your application to be rejected. 
  4. PROOF read everything you write. Poor grammar and spelling sends a negative message about your academic abilities and your work habits. 
  5. DEADLINES are crucial. Know when the application is due and turn it in on time or better yet - early! Late applications are usually rejected. 
  6. STUDY! Good grades show you are a serious and deserving student. 
One of the TRIO Programs at Cameron University