Southwest Tennessee Community College

February 10, 2005

For more information, contact: Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023

Southwest Kicks off Financial Aid Awareness Month

Financial aid and how to apply for it may not be the most interesting topic for most students, but for college students in Tennessee it is as important of a part of college as books, pens, and paper. To help increase the awareness of financial aid and the application process, the financial aid staff of Southwest Tennessee Community College in conjunction with the Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is hosting Financial Aid Awareness Month in February.

“We want our students to be aware of what is available to them through the Southwest Financial Aid Office,” said Kathryn Johnson, director of Financial Aid at Southwest. “They need to be counseled on what needs to be done to get scholarships like the Lottery/Hope Scholarships, grants, work study programs, etc. and that’s why we are here.”

The month kicks off with a statewide-televised broadcast via PBS to promote financial aid opportunities available for post-secondary education. The program will be hosted by Knoxville’s PBS TV Station – WEPT/WKOP and simultaneously aired by other PBS stations across Tennessee on Sunday, February 20, 2005, from 5 to 6 p.m. EST (4 to 5 p.m. CST).

The hour-long program is designed for parents and students. The format will consist of panelists who will discuss the various sections of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The panelists represent a cross section of schools from various regions throughout the state. The panelists this year are: Dr. Richard Rhoda, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Margaret Miller, East Tennessee State University, Bill Edmonds, Walters State Community College, and Forrest Stuart, Rhodes College.

Students and parents who will file a FAFSA for the 2005-2006 school year are urged to watch the program and to have a copy of the FAFSA on hand along with financial information from the 2004 tax year. During the broadcast period and for half an hour immediately following it, viewers with questions may call (800) 595-0220 for individual assistance by an experienced financial aid administrator. The broadcast also includes information about grants, work-study programs, student loans, and state aid programs. Viewers will have an opportunity to order a follow-up packet of information by calling the above toll-free number during and immediately following the broadcast, or by calling (800) 342-1663 between 8 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday of the week following the broadcast. The packet contains a FAFSA, the Student Guide to Financial Aid, scholarship search sources, tips on college planning, TSAC program brochures, and a BEST program brochure.

Receptions are being held at both main campuses of Southwest to help students get the financial aid process started. During the receptions, drawings will be held for currently enrolled students in good standing for scholarships in the amount of $300. The reception at the Union Avenue Campus will be held on February 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Financial Aid Office located in Building M, Suite 112. The reception at the Macon Cove Campus will be held on February 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Financial Aid Office located in the Farris Building, Room 2102.

On February 23, financial aid counselors will be visiting off campus locations of Southwest including, the Gill Center, Fayette County Site, Millington Center, Southeast Center and Whitehaven Center. During these visits, counselors will be available to work with students on their financial aid concerns.

Workshops will be held on both main campuses on February 24. During these workshops, students will be able to work with counselors to ensure that the application process is understood and how to complete the application online. The workshop on the Union Avenue Campus will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in Building B, Room 106. The workshop on the Macon Cove Campus will be held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Cafeteria in the Farris Building. Students seeking help and advice on financial aid are encouraged to attend these workshops.

For more information on financial aid contact the Financial Aid Office at (901) 333-4184 (Macon Cove Campus) or (901) 333-5960 (Union Avenue Campus).