Volume 2, Number 1 - AUG. 1, 2011

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Monica  Kelly
Monica Kelly
Staff Writer


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Financial Aid Office: Providing For Students

By Monica Kelly
Monica.Kelly002@mymdc.net

With the state of the economy, finding financial aid to help with school costs is a necessity. But with all the options, deadlines, and forms it may seem difficult to find the right financial aid package for your economic situation.

Miami Dade College’s Financial Aid Office can help you answer the questions you might have.
 
“The Financial Aid Office provides information on how to apply for financial aid, what documents are necessary to complete your application and what types of financial aid are available,” said Mercedes Amaya, the  college-wide director of Financial Aid, via email.

Amaya explained the four most common forms of financial aid:
 
1) Grants are funds awarded that you do not have to pay back.
2) Work-study programs are funds awarded that allow you to work while attending school.
3) loans are funds awarded that must be repaid with interest.
4) Scholarships and institutional awards are based on merit or other factors.

But to be improve your chances, Amaya stressed the importance of applying for the FAFSA early.
 
“The first and most important step in applying for all of these various types of aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the FAFSA,” Amaya said. “Although students may still apply for financial aid in August, it is recommended that you apply as early as possible for the greatest opportunity to be considered for all types of financial aid.”
 
Alex Suarez, a psychology major at Kendall Campus, said he has seen improvements in the efficiency of the financial aid department.
“I think their services are bettering every year,” Suarez said. “To be honest, this year, there are less people waiting in line at Kendall Campus. Last year was horrible, but this year has greatly improved.”


Standards of Academic Progress Policy


According to an email sent to students by College Wide Financial Aid Director Mercedes Amaya on Friday, July. 22, changes have been made to the Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress Policy for new and continuing students.
The standards for Academic Progress have been changed to help students and the Financial Aid Office assist students finish their studies in time.
"These changes are designed to help students progress towards graduation in a timely manner and allows the Financial Aid Office to work with students through the use of an Individual Education Plan when extenuating circumstances affect a student's academic progress," Amaya said.
The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy includes two components:

Qualitative (GPA): The qualitative standards consist of the grade point average necessary to meet academic progress towards program completion.
Minimum GPA requirements

Total Credit Hours Attempted    Required Cumulative GPA
7-29.9 credits 1.5 or greater
30-44.9 credits 1.or greater
45- or more credits 2.0 or grea

 
Quantitative Standards: (Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame)
Completion Rate: You must complete 67% of all courses attempted.
Maximum Time Frame: Your financial aid eligibility is limited to 150% of the credits required to complete your program of study.
For additional information, please contact your campus Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid Office hours
(College-wide): Mon- Thurs: 8:00am- 7:00pm; Fri: 8:00am- 4:30pm
Contact information
Kendall: (305) 237-2325; Room 3116
North: (305) 237-1058; Room 1119
Wolfson: (305) 237-3244; Room 3115
Medical: (305) 237-4160; Room 1201
Homestead: (305) 237-5024; Room A106
InterAmerican: (305) 237-6040; Room 1117-2
Hialeah: (305) 237-8779; Room 2101
West: (305) 237-8941; Room 1214
 

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.