SRU financial aid office offers help to file FAFSA

Haley Barnes, Rocket Contributor
March 27, 2014

With the Pa. deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form being May 1 and with tuition constantly increasing, Slippery Rock students have the right to know what their degree costs.

According to Ginny Kopko, the interim director of Slippery Rock’s financial aid office, the average cost for an in-state student to attend Slippery Rock for four years is about $75,000 and tuition in itself makes up $36,000 of it. According to a tuition table on Slippery Rock’s website, the other part of the total cost comes from various different fees, such as the fee to use the Health Center and the Abersold Recreation Center. Kopko said the choice of housing and being an out of state student can affect the total cost as well.

Kopko said that all students are encouraged to apply for scholarships to help pay for out of pocket expenses at Slippery Rock.

An estimated 81 percent of Slippery Rock students receive financial aid, Kopko said, but there are requirements students must meet in order to qualify, which is why not all students receive financial aid. Kopko explained that students must complete the FASFA form each year, meet satisfactory academic progress, be enrolled in at least six credits, and complete verification requirements if selected by the Department of Education.

Kopko said the financial aid office sends out e-mail reminders and post cards to students to file the FASFA each year, as about 88 percent of students apply each year.

“We [financial aid office] are open 8:00 to 4:30 Monday to Friday for walk-ins,” Kopko said. “Students are encouraged to make appointments with one of the Financial Aid Directors who can provide individualized financial aid counseling, if they have questions about their financial aid, options to meet costs, and any other financial aid related questions that they may have while attending SRU.”

In addition to the services of the financial aid office, debt management workshops are also provided in FYRST Seminars, as well as FAFSA completion workshops, Kopko said.

“MySRU is available twenty-four/seven for students to view their financial aid status, view their awards, review terms and conditions, and progress,” Kopko said. “Other valuable links are provided to students in the portal to the Pennsylvania State Grant Agency,  Direct Loan site for completing the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Notes, etcetera.”

There are several websites that can provide students with information about Slippery Rock, costs, enrollment, and average amount of loans borrowed by graduates, Kopko explained. Kopko said that some of these websites include www.collegeportraits.org/PA/SRU, bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search, and nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator.

Kopko emphasized that satisfactory grades are incentive to keep receiving financial aid, which is crucial with rising tuition. According to Slippery Rock policy for financial aid, students who have not completed at least two academic years must maintain a 1.5 GPA and students who have completed two academic years must maintain a 2.0 GPA in order to keep receiving financial aid. The policy also states that students must successfully complete 67 percent of the total cumulative attempted credits in order to keep receiving financial aid. The policy is viewable to students on Slippery Rock’s website.

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