Every year $42 million is awarded to CSU-Pueblo students in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work study positions. In fact, more than 80 percent of the students at CSU-Pueblo receive financial aid, but the deadline to get in on the action is quickly approaching.
“March 1 is a huge date for financial aid,” said Kynna Boughton, CSU-Pueblo financial aid counselor. “It’s the priority deadline for both the FAFSA and CSU-Pueblo scholarship application.”
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is available online and helps determine a student’s financial need, Boughton said. This is often helpful in awarding grants, need-based scholarships and loans, she said.
Students need to complete the CSU-Pueblo scholarship application online in order to be eligible for any awards provided directly by the university, according to information on the SFS website.
“A lot of students overlook the scholarship application,” Boughton said. “But it’s a great way to apply for dozens of scholarships all at once through the school.”
Overall, applying for financial aid may take some time, but it can also be extremely beneficial, said Lee Davis, a senior mass communications student and financial aid recipient at CSU-Pueblo.
“It’s something that you never know how crucial it is until you’ve done it,” he said.
Once students have submitted their FAFSA and CSU-Pueblo scholarship application, they should also check their PAWS account regularly to see if any additional paperwork needs to be submitted, as this may be the case if a student is selected for verification, according to the SFS website.
“Verification is the process of the government polling students to double-check their financial information,” Boughton said. “If students are selected for verification, they will need to submit the appropriate paperwork before they can receive their financial aid awards.”
The amount and types of financial aid students receive as a result of their FAFSA and CSU-Pueblo scholarship application will also be posted on their PAWS account, Boughton said. Students can typically review these awards and accept or decline loan offers in May or June, she said.
The most common types of financial aid at CSU-Pueblo are grants, scholarships, loans and work study positions, according to the SFS informational brochure.
“Grants do not need to be repaid and are usually awarded based on financial need,” Boughton said. “Scholarships also do not need to be repaid, but can be need-based or merit-based.”
Student loans, another form of financial aid, can be either unsubsidized or subsidized. Unsubsidized loans accumulate interest while a student is in school, whereas subsidized loans do not, according to the SFS website.
“Student loans can be used for almost any school-related expense,” Boughton said. “This could include car repairs if a student drives to school or even extra equipment needed for certain classes.”
In addition, approximately 650 students at CSU-Pueblo also earn money by working for the university, according to the SFS website. Many of these students are employed through work study, another form of need-based financial aid that allows students to use wage earnings toward any expenses they choose.
Although March 1 is the deadline for FAFSA and the CSU-Pueblo scholarship application, now is also the time for students to pursue outside scholarships, Boughton said. Many local businesses and organizations supply a lot of funds toward financial aid, she said.
“And if students have questions about or problems with the financial aid process, they can always come in or give us a call,” Boughton said. “We’re happy to help them submit information or find the right forms.”
To contact SFS, call 719-549-2753 or visit them in the Administration Building, Room 212.