Prospective college students seeking financial aid advice on an affordable college education found assistance at an informational workshop held on Feb. 28 at the Cameron University-Duncan campus.
Emily Prichard, Academic and Financial Assistance Adviser at CU-Duncan, along with Cameron University Director of Financial Assistance, Donald Hall, orchestrated the workshop to benefit current and future students as well as parents of college students.
Frank Meyers, Cameron’s Associate Director of Enrollment Management, also attended the workshop, answering questions on the many complex facets of college financial assistance.
The workshop was the first of its kind to be hosted on the CU-Duncan campus. Financial aid workshops have been held in the past at CU’s Lawton location. The evening’s program promised “to provide information about grants, loans and scholarships.”
Prichard explained beforehand that the workshop was also intended as a recruitment tool for CU by helping students to realize there are options for an affordable college education.
“We just want to get [students] introduced to our campus, hopefully to promote not only Cameron as freshmen coming in, but to bring in some nontraditional students as well,” Prichard said.
Chris Whiteman, a senior at Marlow High School, along with parents Stephen and Donna, attended the workshop.
“We’re just considering our options,” Donna said.
She explained they would like for Chris to attend the Duncan campus upon his graduation.
Director of CU-Duncan, Susan Camp, welcomed the group and introduced Prichard, who would act as the main speaker for the evening.
Thirteen people, a mixture of high school students, parents and prospective college students, looked over financial aid packets as Prichard began her PowerPoint presentation.
Prichard opened the workshop by asking how many students would like 100 grand. She then handed out 100 Grand chocolate bars before delving into the more serious financial questions.
Prichard’s lecture outlined the basics of financial aid, answering the questions of what it is, how much can be received and how to apply. She also explained the process of preparing for and filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid application.
The presentation also served to introduce audience members to Cameron staples such as Aggie Access and the AggieOne Card.
Throughout the evening, Prichard, Hall and Meyers discouraged loans, unless necessary and explained the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
The workshop concluded with Prichard opening the floor for questions, and the computer lab was reserved afterward for students and parents to receive assistance in filing their FAFSAs.
Meyers explained that financial assistance is an area on which CU prides itself as a university.
“Our financial aid office works really hard to keep students from taking out loans when they don’t have to,” Meyers said.
Meyers broke down the statistics, explaining: “Three of the last four years we have ranked in the top three of our category. Sixty-eight percent of our students have graduated with no debt, which is something in a world where two thirds of students nationwide graduate with debt.”