Piedmont Tech is Making College More Affordable

fafsa611Attending college is more affordable than you might think. And Piedmont Technical College is working with students to make it easier to find financial assistance.

“A great amount of financial aid is available each year. Students just need to apply,” said Deborah Williams, financial aid director at Piedmont Technical College.

Unfortunately, many people are bogged down by the thought of necessary paper work or simply wait until it’s too late. But, Williams said, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available online and can be completed with relative ease. To be eligible for any financial aid, a student must complete the FAFSA. The deadline to complete the FAFSA for the academic year 2010-2011 is June 30.

“A lot of individuals don’t realize how the process works,” said Williams. “We’re here to help.”
Once the FAFSA is completed, students are eligible for many different avenues of financial assistance.

“We offer several options, from federal Pell grants and student loans to the South Carolina Life Scholarship and lottery assistance,” Williams said.

One-third of all technical college students in South Carolina receive Lottery Tuition Assistance (LTA) funds. Nearly 40,000 students statewide receive LTA, which amounts to about $900 per semester for those enrolled full time. Over 70 percent of the students attending Piedmont Tech receive LTA.

Another option is the Piedmont Payment Plan, which allows participants to enroll in a two-, three- or four-payment option. The plan can cover not only tuition, but books, supplies and fees. The plan is easy to join. The student needs to go to the PTC Web site, click on the e-Cashier icon and fill out the application. All that is required is a checking account number or a credit/debit card. Payments are processed automatically.

“An important aspect to financial aid to keep in mind is that you must re-apply each school year,” said Williams. “The renewal application is something many students neglect to complete. It also can be done entirely online.”

Current students must renew their applications. Renewal requires students to update the income information. Williams also noted the renewal process is much shorter than the initial application students complete.
Applications for all financial aid can be found at http://www.ptc.edu/Fininfo/.

“With the many options available, we are making college affordable for everyone,” Williams said. “If you are determined to get your degree, we will find a way to help you pay for it.”

For more information on any financial aid options, call (864) 941-8365 or go to www.ptc.edu.

Photo Caption: Kim Chalmers, financial aid counselor, right, assists Marcus Wallace, a commercial art student from Ninety Six, with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.