New and current students came out in force on July 14 to take part in the Northampton Community College (NCC) FAFSA Completion Day, One-Stop Enrollment Event and Tech Fair held on Bethlehem campus. Financial aid officers sat down with students on the spot to fill out their FAFSA and apply for aid, and scannable QR codes allowed students to seek out other aid, like work study at NCC and loan opportunities.  

Members of PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency) held a media briefing to discuss the importance of the PA State Grant and filling out the FAFSA. CEO and President of PHEAA, James Steeley, told the audience that within the past 10 years, nearly 17,000 NCC students were able to attend the college because of the PA State Grant.  

From left: Thomas Hackman, NCC; Sedgwick Harris, NCC; James Steeley, PHEAA; Elizabeth McCloud, PHEAA; Elizabeth Bolden, PA Commission for Community Colleges

Ninety percent of NCC student aid applicants receive some form of aid. Submitting the FAFSA and applying for other aid opportunities can ensure students maximize their financial aid. Case and point, Thomas Hackman, NCC alumni and current financial aid officer. Hackman would not be where he is today if not for the help the PA State Grant provided him.  

“I came from a single parent household, and I relied on this grant to help me through college,” Hackman said. “When I see a student today in my role at NCC, I’m able to explain aid and how PA State Grants and other federal grants can help students achieve their goals.”  

Students who attended also had the opportunity to get set for the fall with registration and housing options. Students who live in NCC’s residence halls this fall can still receive up to $5,500 towards their housing costs.  

Representatives from enrollment services were present to help students decide on their program of study, set up advising sessions, provide Workday assistance, and more. 

The Tech Fair showed students and attendees how NCC is using technology in and out of the classroom to facilitate learning experiences. For example, professors that use Learning Glass in their classroom help encourage interaction with students while giving a lecture. Other technology like the Makey Makey, which teaches students about circuitry, and a Merge Cube, which opens up the world of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, prove useful in a quickly advancing world. Those who stopped at the tech stations were able to enter to win an Amazon gift card. 

Some types of aid are first-come first-serve while others have fixed deadlines, and students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The deadline for new community college students to qualify for PA state grant by completing the financial aid application (FAFSA) is August 1. If you missed this event, set up a meeting with financial aid to assist in your application and beyond by visiting northampton.edu/financialaid or e-mail financialaid@northampton.edu.