|Financial aid workers at Centre dedicated to students
RELEASED: Oct. 21, 2004
DANVILLE, KYElaine Larson doesn't own an ATM, but she knows where to find money.
As the director of student financial planning at Centre, Larson helps students and their families through the financial aid application process by explaining forms that are sometimes complicated, reminding students of deadlines and locating funding for students with special circumstances.
"I'm aware that these students wouldn't be able to stay at Centre without financial aid," Larson says. "The student focus at Centre College is a satisfying part of the job because you help Centre, help society and especially help the students."
According to a recent report by the American Council for Education, half of all U.S. college students fail to apply for federal aid, meaning nearly a million students miss out on federal aid money. To apply for federal aid, students must fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA can be found on the Web at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
At Centre, where 60 percent of students receive need-based financial aid, leaving aid money on the table isn't a problem. Larson and the financial aid staff make sure the students don't miss those important deadlines. Larson sends out e-mail messages to remind them.
"I want to provide students with enough money to attend Centre and help them meet the deadlines to get that money," she says. "I care about students and I'm serious about helping them. We want them here and want them to be able to stay."
Terra Caudill, a senior double major in mathematics and secondary education from Sturgis, Ky., agrees that the funding and the personal attention she receives in the financial aid office has made a difference.
"Without financial aid, I wouldn't be able to attend Centre," Caudill says.
"The ladies in the Financial Aid Office are very helpful and insightful. They're always willing to answer questions by phone, by e-mail or in person. They work hard, even before the summer starts, on the next year's aid packages for everyone including incoming freshmen."
Making sure that students get the government aid they need is just part of Larson's job. She also works to distribute the $10 million the College endows for institutional aid funds. These resources include merit scholarship as well as Centre grants that are awarded to students. These funds are made possible from nation-leading alumni giving.
"It's great to work at an institution such as Centre that supports its students," Larson says.
In addition to helping Centre students and families, Larson also does outreach projects at area high schools to assist parents through the financial aid process.
"We sympathize with families because it is a tedious process," Larson says.
To find out more about financial aid at Centre, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/admission/financial/.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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