FAFSA Completion Challenge Kickoff and Fastober

Alli Williams

Photo of Wizard in the Financial Aid Office.

College is hard enough as it is without having to worry about the cost of attending. Unfortunately, many students are unaware of the financial aid options available to them that can help them pay for college.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an important resource in finding money for your education, and this year, TMCC’s Financial Aid Office was awarded a $40,000 grant that will go toward increasing FAFSA completion rates by 5%.

TMCC was the only institution in Nevada selected for the grant, sponsored by the National College Access Network (NCAN). NCAN awarded 25 grants nationwide, and in September 2019, NCAN will award a $100,000 grand prize at its national conference in Indianapolis to one institution/city based on a holistic review of the percentage growth in completions, adoption of effective strategies, barriers overcome and likelihood of sustainability.

“This is the first year TMCC received the FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant, and this Fall is the big launch,” said Elisabeth Saldana, Financial Aid Coordinator for Scholarships and Outreach at TMCC.

The FAFSA opens on Monday, October 1, 2018, and on that same day, TMCC hosts the FAFSA Completion Challenge Kickoff event. Special guests at this event include Mayor Geno Martini of Sparks, a City of Reno representative, and other distinguished guests who will be giving a proclamation in support of Financial Aid's Fastober event activities and initiatives to increase student completion of the FAFSA. All are invited to attend this event.

The following Saturday, TMCC hosts their annual Fastober event on the Dandini Campus. This event includes 2019–2020 FAFSA assistance, 2018–2019 FAFSA verification assistance, Nevada Promise Scholarship Workshop, academic advisement, raffles and giveaways!

Fastober is a free, one-day event held on Saturday, October 6, 2018, from 9 a.m.–1:30 p.m. in the Sierra Building, and is structured to help students in several ways. Students must RSVP to attend.

Fastober is broken out into three sessions:

Session 1: Complete Your 2019-2020 FAFSA Application
Students complete a FAFSA application for the 2019–2020 academic year. You will want to bring a government-issued photo ID, your social security number, and one parent/guardian with you. We will show you how to link to the IRS database to retrieve your 2017 taxes; 2017 tax returns and W-2s. This is a one-hour session located in SIER 100.

Session 2: Attend Nevada Promise Workshop
This workshop is offered to high school seniors. All Nevada Promise candidates are required to complete a Nevada Promise Scholarship training before December 31, 2018. The Financial Aid Office and the Nevada Promise team are collaborating to provide the Nevada Promise training during Fastober. If you have not completed the Nevada Promise training, this is your opportunity to complete two steps in one day. This is a 90-minute session from 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m. in SIER 108.

Session 3: Complete Your Current Financial Aid File
If you are registering for this session, you are currently a TMCC student who is working on completing your financial aid file for the current 2018–2019 academic year. You may be in the verification process, need to turn in documents, need help completing required documents, or filing an appeal. Our staff will be on hand to assist you. This is a 30-minute session located in SIER 102.

“This event is a great tool for students if they have questions about financial aid,” Saldana said. “All of TMCC’s continuing students and prospective students can take advantage of the entire staff being there to get help with completing their FAFSA and answer any questions they might have.”

You do not need to RSVP to the FAFSA Completion Challenge Kickoff on October 1, but students, faculty, staff and the community are all encouraged to attend to keep informed on financial aid activities. The kickoff will be held Monday, October 1, 2018, at 11 a.m. in RDMT 255 and 256.

For more information on the FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant, please contact Elisabeth Saldana at 775-673-7200. Please RSVP online to register for the Fastober event.