With spring semester kicking off for several area colleges and universities, Eyewitness News visits Mohawk Valley Community College to talk with students and advisors.
And After congress passed legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff which includes spending cuts and tax increases, some have uncertainty regarding federal student aid. Still, it was a very busy day at MVCC with dozens of students applying and registering for the spring semester.
"I didn't go to college straight from high school so I'm getting older and have a son now, so mean it's never to late," says Savanna Goico, new MVCC student.
"I'm a veteran, came here to look at different curriculums so I can get a new job," says William Franklin, new MVCC student.
As the spring semester approaches, new and transfer students check out what MVCC has to offer. Although most colleges are starting their classes, MVCC Admissions says it's still not too late to apply.
"We're getting a lot of people that maybe took a semester off, students that just wanna get that start, they had the new years resolution that i wanna go back to college. We help them through the process, through the application process, financial aid, registering," Dan Ianno, Director of Admissions at MVCC.
And after students finish the admissions process, they can come here to the student service center, talk with advisers, and learn about financial aid opportunities.
"With the rising cost of college and the way things are going in the economy today, I think everybody can use a little bit of help," says Michael Alsheimer, Asst. Director of Financial Aid at MVCC.
Now that the fiscal cliff spending cuts have been delayed for 2 months, some worry that these cuts will effect student aid but the MVCC Financial Aid Department says that's not the case.
"They're going to continue with the same eligibility requirements that they have for this year. They did not increase the amount of Pell students can receive, but they did not decrease it," says Alsheimer.
Pell grants are a type of aid students can receive. There's also federal, state, and college-sponsored aid, but instead of cutting aid...
"Put other types of limits on it. So in other words, before where there wasn't a limit on how many years you could receive, they're starting to limit that to 6 years Pell in order to get a 4-year degree. But if you're interested in getting loans, you never know. You may qualify for aid depending on your families circumstance and things like that," says Alsheimer.
And the MVCC Financial Aid Department wants to remind students that completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is the first step to obtaining financial aid. Families of college-bound students, as well as those currently attendingcollege should complete the FAFSA as early as possible in January to havethe best chance of receiving all the financial aid for which they arequalified.