Student Worker for Financial Aid Department Provides Tips for Filing the FAFSA

Courtney Colletti, a senior communication studies major from Pennsville, NJ (Salem County), is a student worker for the Financial Aid department. Today she shares with us a glimpse into her job, and the importance of filing your Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming school year.

What are your responsibilities as a student worker for the Financial Aid department? 

My official title is Creative Assistant, and I manage the Financial Aid social media accounts and help out with marketing efforts within the department. I get to create content for Twitter and Instagram, brainstorm contest ideas for social media and help my bosses organize financial aid events. 

I really wanted to expand from just social management into more marketing experience. This job presents opportunities for me to run events and host classes about financial aid and plan PR campaigns for getting students to file their FAFSA. I am also part of the initiative for the FAFSA Finisher contest, which encourages students to fill out their FAFSA for a chance to win Rowan gear and technology prizes.

Courtney leans against a tree and smiles.How did you get the job as a student?

I actually came across this job on ProfsJobs. I love ProfsJobs! All of my past positions have been found on there. When I interviewed for this job, the atmosphere was so great, and I realized the importance of making sure I am happy in what I do and having a good environment. It’s such a collaborative team effort, and we still have fun and get creative. The whole office is focused on helping students and making sure they get the money they need. Financial Aid may have a reputation for being “boring,” but my bosses are so funny, outgoing and happy. 

From your experience at work, how does the FAFSA help students? Why is it important to complete?

Students have to fill out the FAFSA if they want any kind of financial assistance from the government. When it comes to grants and scholarships through the government, the information you provide in your FAFSA determines how much aid you qualify for. It also sets you up so the federal government can determine how much in subsidized and unsubsidized loans you’re able to receive.

We try to encourage students to file the FAFSA as early as they can, because you can lose potential aid money by not filing as early as possible. The more aid you are able to receive from the government, the less money you have to borrow from private lenders, which could come with higher interest rates. We want to prevent students from losing money that they are entitled to. 

Because of COVID-19, the deadlines for filing have changed. Instead of April 15, returning students have to file by June 1 the very latest. Brand new students have until Sept. 15 to file for the Fall 2020 semester.

Any suggestions for students who are looking to fill out the FAFSA?

Ask your parents to sit down with you to do this, or find someone you trust who is good with money to advise you. Make sure you have all the information you need ahead of time so you’re not scrambling for it last minute. And if you have to fill it out on your own or need help, the Financial Aid department is here for you. You can email us to set up a phone or Zoom call where our staff can walk you through the process. It’s not as scary or intimidating as students think it is. You’re just plugging in a few numbers, and they keep it pretty simple.

The Office of Financial Aid wants you to know that they are still here for you as a resource. Follow @rowanfinaid on Instagram and Twitter to participate in contests and win prizes just for filling out your FAFSA!

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Story by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major