Waiver eases burden

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By Andrea Grout

By Andrea Grout

For many students, college is a financial prison.

The burden of paying for classes, books, supplies and gas to travel to college is extremely challenging. Not to mention it is particularly problematic for students who have the extra expenses of rent and groceries.

Students may ask if there is a solution for this financial madness.

Scholarships and financial aid can help students receive additional money and release some stress; however, finding and applying for financial assistance requires work and effort from the students.

One piece of financial aid that most students do not know about which can help pay for tuition and parking fees is the Board of Governors Fee Waiver commonly known as BOGW.

According to Financial Aid Secretary Gloria A. Aguilar the fee waiver is an instrument used by the community college district to process the financial assistance provided to low-income students.

The fee waiver is a state sponsored program which waives enrollment fees for qualifying students, the health service fees and reduces parking fees in half.

“One impressive aspect is that the fee waiver will waive fees regardless of any fee increase” Aguilar said.

The fee waiver does not pay for supplies or books so students can get additional financial assistance with their college expenses by completing the financial aid form online.

Students may have heard what the fee waiver is, but the students may not know how to apply and qualify.

According to Financial Aid assistant Tanya Wilson, the fee waiver is as easy as steps one, two and three.

Wilson said students first have to apply for admission to Riverside Community College, then be identified as a California resident and lastly complete the Free Application for Student Aid form.

“After completing all three steps students will automatically be awarded the fee waiver if eligible,” Wilson said.

Some students who receive the fee waiver are unaware that they have received it.

“There are students who are uninformed that they have been given the fee wavier because it is automatically awarded to the student after completing the FAFSA form,” said Financial Aid assistant Becki Eklund.

The fee waiver not only helps by paying tuition fees for one semester, but it helps for the entire year.

“The fee waiver is valid for the entire academic year beginning with summer and ending with the following spring,” said student Michael Williams. “This monetary aid helped me from dropping out of my classes and helped me continue my education for more than one semester.”

Many students say that the fee waiver makes the difference between continuing their classes at community college or dropping out.”It is in the least to say that the financial assistance I received during my time spent here at RCC has tremendously helped me in achieving my academic success,” said student Danny Dinh. “Without the assistance I received, I would only be able to credit myself with having a high school education because I wouldn’t have been able to carry on the expenses of an education after high school.”

According to student Jennifer Valenscia, the fee waiver has made it possible to continue taking classes at RCC because it aids in paying for tuition and makes achieving college financially realistic.

Without the aid of the fee waiver, some students may not have the option of getting a college education.

“The fee waiver benefits students greatly because it pays for the student’s tuition,” Aguilar said. “By taking away the financial burden of having to pay for tuition, students are able to afford books and supplies without the extra stress of coming up with money to pay for class units and health fees.”

According to the Financial Aid office the fee waiver is what you need if you are a student who sees college as a financial prison.

Whether you are a student who needs the financial aid or just a little extra aid to continue your college career, apply for student aid. It will make a difference with the financial madness of college.

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