Pomp and Financial Circumstances

Students: If you think homework and tests are the albatross around your neck, just wait for student loans to come due. To make that as painless as possible, LCC is holding its 15th annual “How to Pay for College … In One Day!” Saturday, Jan. 11. The event is free and open to all.

“A lot of times students talk themselves out of applying for scholarships,” says Jackie Bryson, an LCC career and scholarship advisor, “but in this workshop you’ll see that everyone can apply to scholarships and anyone can receive scholarships.” She says that she’s seen students leave school debt free because they’ve put time into their scholarships, which can pay off to the tune of $200 an hour.

Workshops at the event cover finding scholarships, writing effective applications and help with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). A college funding session will also be held in Spanish.

Hannah Achepohl attended the “How to Pay for College” event two years ago, and she’s earned two associates degrees and six certifications without having to take out any student loans. “There are tons of scholarships out there for people,” she says. “People think, ‘They’re never going to give a scholarship to me. I don’t deserve it.’ But there are so many unclaimed scholarships out there.”

Setting aside the time is the first step Achepohl says, and she advises students to be very organized and very persistent. “It takes a lot of work and sometimes you have to fill out copious amounts of paper work,” she says. “But isn’t it better to have two entire college degrees paid for, not having to take out a student loan and being able to work just part-time during school?”

Bryson encourages students to bring their 2012 tax returns and/or 2013 financial records and says students should always file their FAFSAs in the first three weeks of January if possible. “There are more grants available early than later on,” she says.

According to The Institute for College Access and Success’s “Student Debt and the Class of 2012,” 60 percent of Oregon college graduates left school with debt averaging $26,639.

“How to Pay for College” runs 8:30 am to 2:30 pm Jan. 11, at LCC’s Center for Meeting and Learning, Building 19, Room 100, Main Campus. Lane students register with CRN 33916; community members call 463-6100. A full schedule is available at http://wkly.ws/1o3.