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Grants available for first time college students

LBW Community College officials are urging those who have never attended college to take note of an opportunity no one else can this summer.

“Those who have never attended college may be eligible for Pell Grant funds for summer classes, an opportunity available only once under current government policies,” said Renée LeMaire, LBWCC public information officer.

A federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid.  These funds are usually awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree. The award is based on financial need, cost of attendance, status as full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend college for a full academic year or less.

“The U.S. Department of Education awards Pell Grant funds for two full-time semesters in an academic year. Since summer term is the last semester in the 2014-2015 academic year, new college students eligible for Pell Grant can use the funds this summer.”

With summer fast approaching, LeMaire said time is critical to obtain these free federal dollars.

“The first step is to complete the ‘Free Application for Federal Student Aid’ at www.fafsa.gov.,” she said. “Be sure to include LBWCC’s federal student code of 008988 and contact the Financial Aid Office at the campus you plan to attend to prevent delay in processing the application. Applications should be completed online by May 1 to ensure adequate processing time.”

Additional steps new students must take include the completion of the LBWCC admissions application and complete the COMPASS assessment, which determines the best level of college courses for which the student is prepared.

“LBWCC’s admissions application is now available online at www.lbwcc.edu or in person in the Student Services office at our locations in Andalusia, Opp, Greenville, and Luverne.”

Prior to the start of summer semester, COMPASS assessments are scheduled in Andalusia at 9 a.m. on April 10, and May 15; in Opp at 1 p.m. on April 9 and May 14; and in Greenville at 1 p.m. on April 8 and May 13.

“We realize it is a lot of information to process for new students, so we urge anyone with questions on how to get started to contact the Student Services department,” said LeMaire. “Summer semester classes begin May 20.”

For more information, call 334-222-6591 or visit www.lbwcc.edu.