Students get help with financial aid for college

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Colleges across the state are helping students and parents prepare for school. The state-wide financial aid event was all about helping students get the necessary money for a college education.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College was the host site for students in South Mississippi.

"We want families to know it's not a complicated process, and that we are here to assist them," said Searcy Taylor, the director of financial aid at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Jefferson Davis Campus.

Taylor is one of many financial aid directors helping students complete the free application for Federal Aid, also known as the FAFSA Form.

"When you complete that FAFSA, you open the door for all federal aid, most need based state aid and all of the federal loan programs," said Searcy.

Studies show that students are 50 percent more likely to attend college when they complete the FAFSA.

"You have more to loose by not doing it," said Searcy.

Leaders at this conference say it's never too soon to start planning for child's education and they are scouring the state in hopes of spreading their message.

"It's important for the students as well as the parents because there is so much information out there. We've got to bring the information to the students," said Mae St. Julien with USA Fund Services, a company that assists in the federal aid process.

"We want students to start preparing early because if they don't when they start school, the parents are confused, and the students are confused," Julien said.

That's why the company jumped on board for the state-wide seminar in hopes of encouraging more students to take the necessary steps to get adequate funding for their education.

More than 20 schools state-wide took part in the event.

For more information on the FAFSA form click HERE.