Financial Aid applications on a rise

This year, Clemson University increased its tuition by 4.5 percent. Right now, it costs the average in-state full-time student at Clemson approximately $11,400 a year in tuition. Keith Reeves with Clemson University’s Financial Aid Office says they’ve seen an increase in students applying for need-based financial aid.
“We have a rise for applications for need-based aid roughly in the area of 24 percent. Part of it is due to just an increase in admissions applications, we have more students apply to the university; therefore, there’s a corresponding increase in FAFSA hours. The other part of it is due to the economy, more people are gonna need it,” says Reeves.
Reeves explains how the school is dealing with the struggling economy.
“Really as best we can. The economy is worse, but there’s not a lot more resources available to us to help out, so we are doing what we can with the federal money we get and the adjustments we can make to the students eligiblity, and that’s really about all we can do right now,”says Reeves.
Currently, more than 18,000 students attend Clemson, and Reeves says more than 45 percent of them receive some form of financial aid assistance. The university has also seen more students requesting increased amounts on their financial aid forms due to “special conditions.”
“The FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, kind of takes a snap-shot picture of the prior years, income and financial situation, and if the situation has changed, there is a procedure where you can appeal to the Financial Aid Office to take anything into account that the form doesn’t ask for. For example, loss of job, death of a family member, anything along those lines,” says Reeves.
Clemson receives most of its financial aid money from the South Carolina need-based grant, amounting to $2 million, and the Federal Pell Grant, amounting to $6 million. Clemson also has a merit-based aid program that bases financial assistance on academic achievements, or merits. Those who receive merit-based aid do not have apply, which separates Clemson from some other universities in the state.

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