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Sat., Aug. 29
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Salmon River hosting college financial aid workshop


FORT COVINGTON - For Salmon River seniors looking at going to college but unsure how they will finance it, the school is holding a financial aid night at 6 p.m. tonight in the distance learning room.

Salmon River High School guidance counselor Andrea Martin said the evening will focus on filling out the mandatory Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA), which serves as the groundwork for any incoming college student’s monetary aid.

“Many families are not aware of how to complete the FAFSA, especially if it’s their first child going to college,” Ms. Martin said.

From that, college financial aid departments decide what aid package a student will receive based on household income. It covers the federal Pell grant and the state Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grant.

Ms. Martin said Susan Jones and Amanda Prescott, financial aid officers from SUNY Potsdam, will be at the event to answer questions and offer advice. Rod Cook from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, and Norma Sunday from the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne will be present to speak with Native American families about financial aid options beyond the FAFSA that are available only to Native Americans.

Although there are a multitude of grant, scholarship, and loan options available to students, tonight’s event will focus primarily on the FAFSA.

Ms. Martin said students who wish to seek aid elsewhere can be advised in one-on-one sessions with a guidance councilor. She said she has seen a hefty interest in seniors who want to attend college, but aren’t quite sure how they will pay for it in light of rising tuition costs and the crippling debt that can be incurred from private loaners.

“I definitely have students stopping in on almost a daily basis,” Ms. Martin said.

She said she is relatively new at her post, having started in August, but has the understanding that financial aid night has been a success in the past.

“I’m told we usually have 20 to 30 families that come, and those that do find it useful,” Ms. Martin said.

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