FAFSA clinic to be held at Paul Meek Library

The University of Tennessee at Martin will be the site for a clinic to help students apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, learn more about the financial aid available to them and apply for that financial aid.

The clinic will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, in Room 223 of the Paul Meek Library on campus and is sponsored by tnAchieves, an organization that seeks to enhance postsecondary opportunities and outcomes through student support opportunities.

The FAFSA application form and information can be found at www.studentaid.gov.

Ben Sterling, the tnAchieves vice president for content and public relations, said this year’s FAFSA application has undergone needed changes but had difficulty in being released, altering the usual deadline to turn it in for several entities. The deadline for turning in a FAFSA application for the Tennessee Promise Scholarship is Aug. 1.

“The FAFSA deadline for the Tennessee Promise Scholarship has been extended from May to Aug. 1 due to technological challenges,” he said. “Because of that, we have an extended runway to host clinics across the state, giving students a last chance to have a supported opportunity to complete the FAFSA.

“A majority of students have completed this requirement; however, there are some students who still need to file by the deadline. We are hosting these (clinics) across the state throughout July to ensure students have an opportunity to do that.”

Members of the tnAchieves staff will be on hand for the July 31 clinic, and they will be joined by members of the UT Martin Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship.

tnAchieves is a nonprofit organization that works across the state to administer the Tennessee Promise Scholarship. It also provides a college coaching program called Complete that helps students throughout their college careers to help them successfully graduate from college.

“We are the partnering organization for the Tennessee Promise Scholarship in 74 counties across the state,” Sterling said.

The Tennessee Promise Scholarship is a last-dollar scholarship that allows graduates of Tennessee high schools the ability to attend a community or technical college free of tuition and mandatory fees. It covers tuition and fees not covered by the HOPE Scholarship, the Pell grant or TSAA funds. It is both a scholarship and a mentoring program.

Information about the Tennessee Promise Scholarship can be found on the College System of Tennessee website at tbr.edu/initiatives/tn-promise.

“While UT Martin is not an eligible Tennessee Promise institution, a lot of our students will end up being UT Martin students, and we help them with that admissions process,” Sterling said. “We support students on their pathway to college regardless of where they plan to go.”

tnAchieves is working in partnership with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation to bring more than 60 FAFSA clinics statewide this month. They are all open to the public and are designed to provide students and families with an opportunity to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA before the Aug. 1 Tennessee Promise deadline.

Amy Mistric, the assistant director of the UTM Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, said any student seeking financial aid should fill out the FAFSA form as soon as possible.

“We need to have time to get it before the fall fee payment deadline of Sept. 5,” she said. “To clarify, the July 31 deadline applies to the Tennessee Promise, which is for community and technical colleges only and does not impact UT Martin students or those seeking the UT Promise Scholarship.”

Mistric added that UT Martin will have another FAFSA event from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 23 for students moving back in the fall. The site for that event has not yet been determined. The first day of fall 2024 classes is Monday, Aug, 26.

For more information about UT Martin, visit www.utm.edu or call 1-800-829-UTM1 (-8861).

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