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A chance to learn about student loans
Many college students need to take out student loans to help pay for their schooling, but are not prepared to navigate the financial opportunities available. That is why the Academic Support Center held its annual “Knowledge is Power: Understanding Satisfactory Academic Progress” seminar in the University Center on Wednesday, Oct. 10, during common hour.
Over 150 students were in attendance to learn how student loans and grants can affect their future.
The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis advising director Theresa Stock Steinkamp spoke to students about how to maneuver through the financial aid system throughout the entirety of their college careers.
“The knowledge about understanding how financial aid works and how academics impacts financial aid is really, really important,” Steinkamp said. What we find with the students we work with is that they don’t fully understand how their academics impact their financial aid until it is too late and they are losing money.”
TRIO and Student Support Services academic coordinator Rashaun Henry, who helped plan the seminar, said the event was intended to make students more aware of the impact student loans and grants may have.
“We try to increase students’ financial literacy,” Henry said. “Most students are unaware of how many loans they can actually take out, what the difference is between subsidized and unsubsidized loans are, and how they can have an effect on their actual credit score.”
Some things students may not be aware of, Henry said, is how long students can benefit from funding, when they will no longer be eligible, and when they have to start paying back loans.
Junior Karis Gamble attended the event and she said she is fortunate to be in her position and have a good relationship with the Academic Support Center.
“I am actually about to switch my major, which will keep me here a semester longer, and I didn’t know how long I could receive funding,” Gamble said. “When she mentioned that we can potentially get government funding for up to six academic years, it made me feel more comfortable switching my major because I could still be covered.”
For more information on how student loans work and how to understand financial aid, visit the Academic Support Center at the University Center 202, or visit their website at semo.edu/academic-support-centers.