The College of Southern Maryland Online Scholarship Finder is now open for students to apply for CSM Foundation scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year. The first step in order to receive any financial aid or scholarships for college is to submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Current and incoming College of Southern Maryland students can find help with FAFSA through CSMs Financial Assistance Department.
One of the biggest obstacles in obtaining financial aid is the complexity of the FAFSA. Although the form is not difficult to fill out, a misunderstanding or miscalculation can significantly impact a students eligibility for financial aid. Students and parents can become frustrated and give up. While there is a priority deadline of March 1 which coincides with deadlines for state financial aid, filing FAFSA after March 1 does not mean that students will miss out on financial aid entirely. In fact, many grants and scholarships continue accepting applications until all funds are exhausted, said College of Southern Maryland Financial Assistance Director Chris Zimmermann.
CSMs Financial Assistance Department provides online tutorials through Financial Aid TV (FATV) for parents and students who want to ensure the best outcome to requests for financial aid. The videos, located at http://csmd.financialaidtv.com/, provide tips and answer frequently asked questions about seeking financial aid and paying for college.
Over the past three years, Zimmermann has seen a significant increase in the numbers of FAFSA applications over the past three years with the number of students at CSM receiving financial aid increasing by 25 percent, from 3,706 to 4,642 between 2011 and 2014.
To avoid missing out on first-come, first-served state and federal student aid programs, and merit scholarships, students should complete their FAFSA forms sooner rather than later, Zimmermann said.
Each year the CSM Foundation awards scholarships in a number of academic programs of study to students with varying backgrounds and needs, however, CSM does require all students to complete a FAFSA as part of the scholarship application process, said CSM Development Director Chelsea Brown.
Applications will be accepted through May 31. To access the online application, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Financial/scholarships/index.html.
For information on financial aid at CSM, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Financial/apply.html.