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Financial aid office offers FAFSA help

Jill Barnhart working at her desk.
PHOTO/Anthony Ayala

By: ANTHONY AYALA

Staff Writer

@bman4ever92

IU South Bend is helping students obtain scholarships.

The online scholarship application opened Oct. 1 and can be accessed through the One.IU Scholarship tile. It is due by March 1.

“It’s a new platform this year. You go in and fill out a general scholarships application, and then it looks at what you put in and matches it against our database of over 200 different scholarships from the Alumni Association, IUSB departments and the IU Foundation,” said Jill Barnhart, director of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. “Then the program gives you back a response saying looks like you are qualified for this scholarship.”

This new platform should help students concentrate their essays on a specific scholarship rather than a general essay for all, Barnhart said.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships also holds workshops for students who need help filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The two remaining workshops take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 2 in Weikamp room 1265, and Nov. 14 in the Education and Arts Building room 1105.

“We reserve a computer class room and complete the application. At any time you need we will help you. It can be the experience you need it to be,” Barnhart said. “If you need a lot of help we will be there to second chair the whole time. If you don’t you can ask the one or two questions you may have and get in and out. Some people take five minutes.”

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships also hosts The College Goal Sunday, a state-wide event that is similar to a FAFSA workshop.

“Indiana was the creator of College Goals Sunday, and now most states have something akin to it,” Barnhart said. “It is the same thing as our FAFSA workshops with the added bonus of a survey at the end, and if you fill out the survey you will be entered to win a thousand dollar scholarship. IUSB has had winners before.”

College Goal Sunday is from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 5th in the Education and Arts Building room 1105.

There have been some changes to the FAFSA this year. There was a data breach in the interface between the IRS and FAFSA. The IRS will send someone a letter to inform them that their data was used to fill out a FAFSA. In addition to this a person’s data will be masked.

“When you are filling out your FAFSA, you can allow the IRS to pull data and put it on your FAFSA applications for you, which is actually a secure process. All the fields will be grayed out, you won’t be able to see what the numbers are, but they are what you put into the IRS. Although you will not be able to see the retrieved data, the financial aid department will be able to see it,” Barnhart said.

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