“Financial assistance is the best way to help students and families afford college,” said Rachele Garrett, director of SFA’s Office of Student Financial Assistance. “When an institution removes or reduces the student’s financial need, it gives them the ability to focus on their studies rather than worry about their financial situation.”
Student Loans Report, a site helping students make smart financial decisions and educating them about student loans, ranked SFA among its top 200 institutions in its Most Affordable Colleges for Incoming Freshmen with Financial Need Report. This report analyzed more than 1,000 colleges and universities to determine the most affordable institutions for incoming freshmen with financial need.
Garrett explained SFA currently has more than 800 scholarship programs with some scholarship funds offering multiple awards. The university also has more than 80 scholarships specific to freshmen. For example, the university awarded more than 500 freshmen the Academic Excellence Scholarship for 2017.
“Financial aid officers have a commitment to remove financial barriers for students and to ensure students and parents have all the information needed to make good decisions about paying for college,” Garrett said.
Financial assistance is available to all students, and federal, state and institutional aid programs provide additional assistance. Financial assistance includes free aid, such as scholarships and grants. It also includes additional programs, such as work-study, loans, exemptions and waivers.
According to Garrett, SFA is projected to award more than $160 million in federal, state and institutional aid during 2017.
Within SFA’s Office of Student Financial Assistance, financial aid counselors partner with students and families to facilitate the financial aid process.
“Our counselors are here to help families with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid completion, answering questions and discussing award options,” Garrett said. “In addition, our financial aid counselors can help with special issues that can occur, like loss of a job or unexpected medical issues.”
Students and families are welcome to make an appointment with their financial aid counselor to discuss aid options. Students and parents are encouraged to contact SFA’s Office of Student Financial Assistance when issues affecting a family’s financial situation arise. The office is located on the first floor of the Austin Building on the university’s campus.
For more information, visit http://www.sfasu.edu/admissions-and-aid, or call (936) 468-2403.