Clark’s annual Financial Aid Night and Funding Fair educated students and families about financial opportunities on March 1 from 1-8 p.m. in Gaiser Hall.
Event organizer and Financial Aid Program Specialist Hannah Throop said this is the first time the college is combining its funding fair and financial aid awareness events. “We decided it would be a better use of students time and resources,” she said.
“Our students here at Clark are from such diverse backgrounds,” Throop said. “They don’t really fit what I would call the traditional model of parents paying for them to go … so it’s important for them because so many of our students rely on financial aids.”
The fair had tables dedicated to types of aid including financial literacy with Clark financial literacy coach Austin Keever, as well as work study, loans and The Clark College Foundation table which provided laptops set up to help students fill out scholarships.
There was also an admissions table where incoming students could get their Clark application fee waived.
The event’s funding fair portion was 5 to 5:50 p.m.while the financial aid portion started at 6 p.m.
Throop said the financial aid portion was a guided session to complete the FAFSA application for potential or current students.
“I want them to walk away feeling like they now understand the process,” she said. “Unfortunately, the financial aid process can be really confusing and it’s kind of the number one complaint that students have, it’s the number one challenge and difficulty they face when enrolling in school.”
The night finished with a game show-like quiz with candy prizes and a drawing with three prizes donated from the bookstore, Throop said.
She said she hopes incoming students realize the importance in getting their application’s financial information to Clark early so they’re fully processed in the system and their decisions get to them quicker.