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Davis

Davis, California

Sunday, October 17, 2021

UC Davis hosts first ever Financial Aid Awareness Week

With the due date of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid looming less than a month away, students are seeking different ways to offset the burden of funding their education.

For the first time in campus history, UC Davis is hosting a week of public presentations aimed at educating and increasing awareness for students in need of financial aid.

Katy Maloney, interim director of financial aid, believed that this was a particularly opportune moment considering students’ current financial situations.

“It’s great timing because of the FAFSA [deadline], the fee increases and the economy the way that it is,” she said. “[For students] to not know about ways they can alleviate [those] pressures is not helpful to their success.”

The week began on Monday with a “SMART Money” workshop focused on teaching students on a budget how to budget. Events continue today in the East Conference Room in the MU from noon to 1 p.m. with a presentation on scholarships and employment opportunities.

In the evening, there will be a workshop on filing the FAFSA at Wellman Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. On Wednesday, Maloney will facilitate a presentation debunking common financial aid myths and misconceptions. Following that, there will be a workshop on studying abroad and another FAFSA workshop on Thursday.

The week will wrap up with a program designed to inform students of various ways they can save money and finance their education during the summer.

Rachel de los Reyes, who came up with the idea for the week, spoke to the need she found apparent in the student population.

“I work in customer service,” she said, “I talk to a lot of students and the whole process of financial aid is very confusing to them. They need help, and we need to show the students that our office is here to help them.”

De los Reyes, a financial aid analyst at the Financial Aid office, proposed the idea to her superiors who approved it, but informed her that there was not money to fund her idea. However, de los Reyes was able to gain sponsorship for the week from ASUCD, the Student Recruitment and Retention Center, Internship and Career Center, UCD Student Housing, SPEAK! and the Junior Investors and Entrepreneurs at UC Davis.

“Everyone wants to know more about financial aid,” she said, “If emergencies come up, [students] should know that they can come to us to get assistance. I mean, they can increase tuition, but we will always find ways to help. There are actual solutions.”

According to Maloney, although the Financial Aid Office did not require permission from the administration to hold the events of the week, they worked in concordance with the Chancellor’s Office for publicity purposes.

Allison Zike, Student Assistant to the Chancellor, believes that this week is a good example of the Financial Aid office taking initiative in finding solutions to students’ financial woes.

“I think this year more than ever students need help,” Zike said. “With the mid-year fee increase coming as such as surprise, students need to see [what resources they] have available. I hope this is the beginning of a trend of departments on campus actively taking this vital information to the students.”

ASUCD Senator Joel Juarez sought to help advance the week’s publicity and support within ASUCD and shared his ideas with de los Reyes throughout the planning process. Juarez stressed how essential the week was to not only students currently receiving financial aid, but to all students.

“The inaccessibility of information has always been a problem,” he said. “People have gotten freaked out by how difficult it has gotten to pay for college. [These students] need to gain access to the resources they pay for, but they also need to feel comfortable using them. We need to demystify this whole process for students so that they can get what they need.”

KYLE SPORLEDER can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

INFOBOX TEXT:

TODAY

Scholarships and employment 101

Noon to 1 p.m.

East Conference Room, Memorial Union

Free FAFSA workshop*

*bring a laptop and 2009 tax return info if available

6 to 8 p.m.

126 Wellman

WEDNESDAY

Financial Aid Mythbusters

Noon to 1 p.m.

King Lounge, Memorial Union

THURSDAY

Destination: Affordable

Information on financing your study abroad trip

3 to 4 p.m.

King Lounge, Memorial Union

Free FAFSA workshop*

*bring a laptop and 2009 tax return info if available

6 to 8 p.m.

126 Wellman

FRIDAY

Summer cash

Budgeting for summer sessions and summer abroad

Noon to 1 p.m.

East Conference Room, Memorial Union

For more information visit tiny.cc/finaid.

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