CV financial aid workshop

Hasmik Djoulakian

(November 15, 2012) — As college application season is well underway, senior Ani Rshtouni says she and her mother have spent time looking at how to fund her college education. “Since going to a university is so expensive, my mom wants me to be able to pay as little as I can, so that when I graduate I don’t end up in debt from loans,” Rshtouni said. Rshtouni and her mother joined dozens of other seniors and their parents at Crescenta Valley High School Nov. 7, as Anthony Smith, an outreach representative for Pasadena City College, spoke about the financial aid process, especially how to tackle the FAFSA application. He emphasized the importance of reading the questions carefully, answering them honestly and not waiting too long to begin the application in the first place. This is, in effect, what counselor Karine Turdjian said she hopes students took away from the workshop. Besides going over the FAFSA application, Smith stressed how important it is for prospective college students to look into scholarships and other avenues for acquiring money. “We have to be fundraisers,” he said. “They don’t need flowers at graduation, they need money.” The bottom line was that college is expensive and students should look into any and all potential sources of money. Senior Cleo Khanlari took his point to heart. “There are thousands of scholarships available and you just need to take advantage of them,” Khanlari said. She plans on applying for both FAFSA and Cal Grants, seeing no downside in doing so, as they offer free money to students like her who are looking to go to college without being inundated with loans.