By: Meghan Carlisle, Staff Writer
On February 15, the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) will be partnering with the University of Southern Maine (USM)’s JMG program, the Promise Scholarship, TRIO College Programs, and the Financial Aid Office to help assist students in their 2022 -2023 FAFSA.
From 4-6 pm, in room 332 in Bailey Hall on the Gorham campus, students can enjoy some free pizza and enter themselves in a raffle for a $500 scholarship. Advance sign-up is preferred, but walk-ins are welcomed. Participants are being asked prior to coming to the event, to please review FAME’s checklist for a list of recommended documents to help prepare for submission. Even if students do not have all the recommended documentation, everyone is still welcome to come to get started on their FAFSA.
Stephanie Spiller, the Financial Aid Counselor/Coordinator of Special Projects, was able to explain the importance of this event.
Spiller said, “This is a Gorham campus event to provide person assistance to students who are applying the FAFSA or scholarship applications. We offered a similar event in Portland in November. Students should be applying for financial aid and scholarships for 2022-2023 at this point if they haven’t already. The FAFSA is filed online at: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.”
Spiller stated that this is an event they hope to provide each school year on campus. “These would typically be offered in the late fall or during the winter, as this is the usual time to file the FAFSA for the following school year,” Spiller said.
The FAFSA is a required application for students to be considered for need-based grants (such as the Federal Pell Grant, State of Maine Grant, and USM Grant), Federal Work-Study, and Federal Direct Loans.
According to Spiller, “It must be completed annually and is available October 1 each year for the following school year. For example, the 2022-2023 FAFSA became available October 1, 2021.”
This event is open to parents as well as students if the student wishes for their parents to accompany them. Parents also get more information through the event, since every student who is filed as a dependent is required to list parent/guardian on their FAFSA. More information about the dependency status is available here: online.
If a student (or dependent student’s parent) experiences a change in their income, they are encouraged to reach out to their financial counselor. More information is available on Student Aid’s website and on our Student Financial Services Office: website.
“The 2022-2023 FAFSA requires 2020 tax information for tax filers. Students are strongly encouraged to file the FAFSA as early as possible, and to file even if they do not intend to borrow federal student loans,” said Spiller.