Free system-wide FAFSA, WASFA assistance available to WSU students

First event scheduled from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 7; events will be conducted over Zoom

WSU+students+can+receive+free+assistance+with+their+financial+aid+applications+during+the+annual+FAFSA%2FWASFA+Fest+events.

ANISSA CHAK

WSU students can receive free assistance with their financial aid applications during the annual FAFSA/WASFA Fest events.

LOREN NEGRON, Evergreen reporter

WSU students can receive free assistance with their financial aid applications during the Office of Academic Engagement’s fifth annual FAFSA/WASFA Fest events.

The first event is scheduled from 2-4 p.m. on Oct. 7, and the other is set for 4-5:30 p.m. on Nov. 19. The events will be conducted over Zoom and will be available to students from all WSU campuses, said Kelly Demand, project director for the OAE’s College Affordability Programs.

“Not only are we teaching them the ins and outs of the FAFSA, but we’re offering them ways to understand this so that they can advocate for themselves in the future,” Demand said.

During the events, Demand will give a presentation on the FAFSA and WASFA applications, said Mystique Demyers, peer adviser for the OAE’s Invest in Cougs and Crimson Community Grants. 

The state extended financial support for undocumented students, who are also ineligible for federal loans, through the creation of a state-funded loan program. This aid includes a support loan program established by Senate Bill 6561.

Demyers will be assisting Demand with her presentation. She will also be monitoring the chat and answering students’ questions. Demyers said the OAE staff are equipped and trained to assist students with their financial aid applications.

“It can’t hurt to attend the event,” she said. “It will be helpful no matter what because you’re going to have to fill out your FAFSA in order to get financial aid, and you want financial aid.”

After the presentation, students can go to a breakout room and work on their applications in a group setting, Demand said. They can also meet with a staff member one on one in a different breakout room.

Demand said more than 20 staff members will be available to help students during the events.

“We’re trying to build community even though it has to be virtual,” she said.

There will be a raffle during each event. Students will fill out a survey at the end of the events. OAE staff will pick a random winner from those surveys, Demand said.

The FAFSA/WASFA priority deadline for current WSU students is Nov. 30, according to the WSU Student Financial Services website. Students can register for the events online

“The sooner you get your FAFSA in, the better your financial aid package is going to be for next year,” Demand said. “We’re here to help ensure that you get everything by priority deadline so that you can get the most amount of funding available to you.”