Financial Aid Office offers workshop for FAFSA

By Kia Clair

The Financial Aid Office provides NIU students FAFSA Fridays workshops that consist of private one-on-one sessions with an adviser.

Financial aid advisers help students who are applying for financial aid during the workshops. The workshops were established to bring awareness to the importance of completing FAFSA, and also to provide help for students who may not know how to complete their FAFSA correctly, according to Rebecca Babel, director of student financial aid.

“Students can do whatever is comfortable for them, from asking just one question to having someone sit with them at a computer during the whole process,” Babel said. “Some students like to do the FAFSA in our office, so if they have a question someone is available. We are here for whatever level of assistance a student wants and needs.”

The Student Financial Aid Office staff assists students one-on-one so students feel comfortable. Students can ask questions and get feedback concerning their specific questions about family or income situations that are individual and confidential, according to Babel.

Students are welcome to come in any day of the week, not just on Fridays.

“It is pretty simple; we always provide assistance with financial aid questions and completing the FAFSA,” Babel said. “On Fridays we are geared up for extra student traffic and have food.”

Babel said the aim is to help students learn how to complete the FAFSA. Most students do not need help after their questions are answered during their workshop, according to Babel.

“Some of the students we see on FAFSA Fridays may only have one question, while others want help with the entire application process,” said Samantha Myers, student financial aid office adviser. “FAFSA Fridays deliver service at the level that each student needs.”

The workshops take place every from 9 to 11 a.m. every Friday through May 4 in Swen Parson Hall, Room 245. All walk-ins are welcome, and there is no need for appointments. In order to receive help, students must provide their or their parent’s 2011 federal tax return.

The Financial Aid Office also hosted Soup and Success: Financial Aid & Scholarships on Tuesday. Students participated in a series of informational workshops geared towards creating events that are student-centered and encourage student success initiatives.

Each workshop is based on a topic that is very important to being a successful NIU student, according to the office of Student Academic Success.

For more information on FAFSA Fridays or Soup and Success, contact the Financial Aid Office at 815-753-1395.