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Parents, students prepare to pay for college

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
March 18, 2004
Cheryl Bowles said she doesn't know where her son, Eddie, will go to college but that's not stopping her from finding out what kind of financial aid is available for him.
Bowles said she is concerned about the cost of putting her two children through college at the same time. Her daughter attends Delta State University in Cleveland.
Bowles, along with about 20 parents and students from Meridian and Lauderdale County, recently attended a free workshop at MCC designed to let them know what kind of financial assistance is available.
The workshop, "Finding the Funds: A Parents' Guide to Financial Aid," was sponsored by MCC and Education Services Foundation.
The foundation, which is based in Jackson, is a nonprofit resource offering free college planning, scholarships, low-cost student loans and student loan consolidation.
Workshop topics included the various types of financial aid, career advice and which college is the best choice for students.
Heather Roberts, the foundation's coordinator of outreach services, said she wanted to discuss the process of applying for financial aid with parents and students because college deadlines are approaching.
The deadline to apply for financial aid at MCC for the fall semester is April 1.
Roberts said that in addition to helping students find money for college, the foundation also gives away scholarships and holds workshops to help students with the American College Test, better known as the ACT.
Soroya Welden, director of financial aid at MCC, said help is available for students if they know where to look.
She said that most Mississippi students receive the Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant, or MTAG, which is given to state residents who have a grade point average of 2.5 and at least a 15 on the ACT.
The grant provides up to $500 a year for freshmen and sophomores at two-year and four-year colleges and up to $1,000 a year for junior and seniors at four-year colleges.