(WACO) – Students planning to attend Texas State Technical College in the fall now have access to an online tool to decrease errors when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
The 2018-19 FAFSA includes an improved IRS Data Retrieval Tool, a feature that was not available starting in March because of security concerns surrounding financial aid availability for the 2017-18 academic year.
“It makes their process a lot easier if they can access the IRS Data Retrieval Tool,” said Jackie Adler, executive director of Financial Aid Administration at TSTC. “When they can do that, the income information pulls over from their income tax return onto the application and they don’t have to enter anything manually.”
Students started applying nationally for FAFSA in October using 2016 income tax returns.Adler said students are already being notified via email about financial aid awards for the fall.
In January, students will be able to submit financial aid paperwork through the technical college’s secure online portal instead of the present method of printing, mailing and hand-delivering, Adler said.
Adler said the U.S. Department of Education plans to unveil a FAFSA mobile app in 2018.
“Not only will students be able to access their information, but they can review their loans, see how much money they owe and make payments,” she said. “It will be like a one-stop shop for financial aid on the mobile app.”
Students can also look to scholarships, both in their technical programs and on TSTC’s 10 campuses, for extra financial help.
Karen Beach, director of donor retention for The TSTC Foundation, said students should complete a general scholarship application each semester to be eligible for scholarships that have money available.
The Snyder Helping Hands Scholarship is one of the general scholarships available to assist students with financial and life emergencies. Beach said students should go to their campus financial aid office to learn more about this and other scholarships.
A TSTC campus-specific scholarship recently received a boost with a contribution from its founder. The Rev. Earl Cantrelle of Longview gave $3,500 to the Clay Aaron Cantrelle Scholarship. The scholarship is named for Cantrelle’s grandson, a graduate of Marshall High School and TSTC, who died in a fire on May 8, 2010, at SSC Auto Center in Marshall. The younger Cantrelle had an associate degree in software engineering from TSTC.
Susan Wingate, assistant director of Financial Aid Administration at TSTC in Marshall, said only three students applied this year for the scholarship. The Cantrelle Scholarship is open to any major at TSTC in Marshall.
For more information on FAFSA, go to fafsa.ed.gov.
For more information on financial aid at TSTC, go to tstc.edu/financialaid.