Financial aid details a mystery to many BC students

Zach Sullivan, Reporter

As the deadline for financial aid applications approaches, Bakersfield College students are aware of the scholarships available and are eager to apply, but many do not know how to do so.

Bakersfield College offers Pell Grants, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGFW), as well as numerous other scholarships offered by BC, the BC Foundation, and many private donors to the school.

Out of 27 students polled about whether or not they knew about Pell Grants, FAFSA, and the BOG waiver, 25 said they knew about all three. Of those 25, though, only nine knew where and how to apply for them.

Lisette Garcia, 19, a student at BC, said she didn’t even know she was going to receive the scholarships she did until she signed up for her classes. “I was applying for my classes, and at the end when I hit submit it showed I was approved for the Board of Governors Fee Waiver, and I had no idea what that was until I went down to the financial aid office. They explained it to me and said I was approved for a Pell Grant as well.”

Garcia, is glad she received the grants she did. “It helped a lot. I wasn’t going to be able to go to college if I didn’t get approved for anything. I actually got it the last day that you could apply for classes, so I was already saying no until that happened, but look at me now, I’m here,” Garcia said.

Garcia jokingly said that she’s glad students are not aware of how to apply for scholarships because it makes it easier for her to receive the same grant again next year.

Gabriel Arteaga, 20, said informing the students on how to apply for scholarships would lead to more students who need financial aid being able to access the resources available to them on campus. “If they gave me the steps on how to apply for a scholarship, I would apply the same day.

“Instead, they leave their students in the dark by not shining a light on their path to success,” Arteaga said.

To apply for a scholarship, go online to Bakersfield College’s website, look under Student Services on the home page, and click on Financial Aid, which will have a list of all the scholarships and how to apply. All scholarship applications are online, and can be printed out.