No money laundering here, but students can do laundry and learn about handling loans

“Fifty-two percent of students are using financial aid here at TJC,” said Devon Wiggins, Tyler Junior College Financial Aid Director.

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As a result, Financial Literacy Committee, that brought Cash Cab to campus, will be holding a seminar for students called Loans and Laundry. There will be three sessions beginning at 6-6:30 p.m., 6:45-7:15 p.m., and 7:30-8 p.m., on Feb. 10 in Ornelas Gold Room. Joe Braxton, senior financial aid consultant from Texas Guaranteed Loan Corporation will speak. There will be free Chick-fil-a for anybody who attends, and laundry bags with detergent and change to do a load of laundry. The presentation will tell students about the cost of borrowing loans, repayment plans that avoid debt, and the consequences of default.

“Yes, I use student loans. I confess, I don’t know much about financial aid. My parents just took out a loan, because they couldn’t pay out of pocket,” said Natalia Alvarado, Tyler Junior College student.

While many students let their parents take care of the financial piece of college, they may not realize that being informed now is important to their future. Grants and work-study do not hold students accountable for paying the institution/company back. Loans, however, are borrowed money that accrue interest and have to be paid no matter the student’s financial status. It is critical that students who are in dire need of student loans use them carefully. Students are seeing one of the lower interest rates, as it is currently 3.4 percent for subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Because they are an investment in a student’s’ future, they can be a necessary evil.

“I only think about financial aid at the beginning of the semester when I am waiting to get the money for my classes and books,” said Virgil Hatfield, Tyler Junior College student.

As important as it is to move forward toward a higher degree, it is equally important to meet the expectations of the government in order to continue receiving their financial aid.

“Somewhere between 15-20 percent of TJC students are put on financial aid suspension because they don’t meet satisfactory academic progress,” saidWiggins. “When this occurs, the student is expected to find other means of payment in order to continue their education here at TJC.”

There is a requirement for undergraduate students to keep a 2.0 GPA and for graduates, a 3.0 GPA. Depending on the credit hours the student is taking, it influences the amount of financial aid they will be awarded. The school has the authority to put the student on academic probation due to grades and if they receive financial aid, may be required to pay back the college. As it may be overwhelming for a student to have one more thing to keep up with, this is an element that they will face throughout a college experience.

To get more information, advisers are waiting to help at the Financial Aid office located in the White Administration building as well as over the phone by calling (903)510-2385. Academic advising center is located on the second floor of the Rodgers Student Center and can be contacted at (903)510-3287.

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