How students headed to college can get financial aid

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - It's an exciting time for Horry County students who now have their high school diploma and are headed to college. But it can also be an overwhelming time as some students wonder how they're going to foot the bill.

There are several financial aid options out there to help students pay for college—and it's not too late.

If you haven't already done so you're encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Financial adviser for Horry Georgetown Technical College Cindy Hardwick tells me it can take up to a week for that application to download to a student's college of choice.

Before applying, financial advisers say you should make sure to have the important documents you'll need like Social Security Numbers for both parents and students, a Federal Student Aid ID, and tax returns. Hardwick says it's important to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible.

"Thirty to forty percent of students are selected for verification by the Department of Education and that means they might have to bring in more financial paperwork into the financial aid office. Some students will be awarded automatically if they're not selected, but the ones that are selected will have to bring in additional paperwork and that might take an extra four to six weeks for processing," she said.

Hardwick says about 95 percent of students at HGTC have some form of financial aid whether it's state or federal.

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