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Archive for August, 2012

We continue our series with an interview with Lee Andes, SCHEV’s Assistant Director for Financial Aid.

What do you like most about your job duties at SCHEV?

I really enjoy the opportunity to work on both sides of financial aid… the policy side with other state officials, but also interacting directly with schools, parents, and students.

What is the single most important piece of financial aid information you think students should know?

Be very careful about meeting the FAFSA deadline.  Every college could have a separate date and if you miss their deadline, it will severely impact your eligibility for most forms of need-based aid, especially state and institutional grants and scholarships.  Know your college’s FAFSA deadline!

What is the most common financial aid mistake you see, and how can students and their families keep from falling into that trap?

Prospective students are given an enormous amount of information to read and understand, so too often they miss critical information about their financial aid.  Their initial award letter gives them more directions and dates to watch.  I encourage every student to read their financial aid award letter CAREFULLY.  Mark any deadlines and additional steps on a calendar that you look at every day… whether that be on the refrigerator door or a calendar app on your phone. 

What is the most creative cost-saving method you’ve heard about from students?

The online purchase of books is rapidly gaining popularity, and many professors are beginning to post “required book” lists earlier in the summer.  I encourage students to get those lists and then look for cost-efficient ways to obtain the books they need.  If the book was required last year, look for on-campus postings of students selling used books.

What is your favorite cartoon character and why?

Wile E. Coyote. I admire his persistence… no matter what happens, he never, ever, ever gives up.  Never.

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Council Chair Gil Bland joined Governor McDonnell at a press conference last week to announce the lowest tuition and fee increases in a decade for Virginians attending any of the Commonwealth’s stellar public colleges and universities. Visit wamu.org to hear an audio clip of Mr. Bland’s announcement.

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