West Virginia University will sponsor two events in the coming weeks to assist parents and students with the financial aid application process.

WVU financial aid counselors will staff a Financial Aid Hotline Thursday, Jan. 31, from 6-9 p.m. at 1-800-344-WVU1 (Option 1) to answer questions about the financial aid application process, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other general financial aid questions.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, WVU will host a Financial Aid Workshop from 6-8 p.m. in the White Hall Computer Lab. The workshop instructor will explain how to complete the FAFSA . Participants should bring records, such as their 2001 Federal Tax Return (if already filed), necessary for completing the form. Seating is limited; parents and students are encouraged to arrive early.

“Its an exciting time of year,”said Ken Sears, WVU Associate Director of Financial Aid.”Its a relatively short window between Jan. 1 when the financial aid forms become available and March 1, which is our deadline.”

Gov. Bob Wise designated Jan. 14Feb. 14 as Financial Aid Awareness Month to encourage West Virginia residents to learn more about financial aid options and”pursuing their dreams of continuing their education.”Gov. Wise noted in his proclamation that students attending post secondary institutions in the state received about $345 million in assistance during 2000-2001 from financial aid programs.

“This year will be a little different because of the PROMISE scholarship,”Sears said.”A PROMISE scholarship can take care of tuition and fees. Additionally, WVU has decided that the PROMISE scholarship will not replace the offer from the WVU Scholars Office.”

He encourages students at West Virginia high schools to apply for the PROMISE scholarship by the Thursday, Jan. 31, deadline. For more information, see www.promisescholarships.org or call 1-877-WVPROMISE.

Those students who dont qualify for the PROMISE scholarship shouldnt despair, he added.”Just about everyone qualifies for some form of financial aid; its just a matter of where its going to come from,”he said.