By Monica Lopez
Pulse Staff Reporter
Many students see Palo Alto College as a place for learning, but they don’t realize that useful resources outside of the classroom help students gain the best college experience.
One of the main resources at PAC is the Financial Aid office. Many students cannot afford a college education. Based on financial need, the government assists students by providing federal funds to pay for college. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application must be filled out, providing information from the parents’ income, as well as their own. This process can be very overwhelming for many students.
PAC has a Financial Aid staff to assist students in ensuring that all forms are completed by the appropriate deadlines. The Financial Aid office can help answer questions and guide students through the necessary steps in fulfilling the requirements.
Hannah Lopez, a sophomore Communications major, has benefited from the Financial Aid office’s help. When she transferred to PAC from Texas State University in Spring 2017, she was overwhelmed by the number of things she needed to do, including the financial aid paperwork. The staff was very helpful in guiding her to get everything done in a timely manner and letting her know what to expect.
“The Financial Aid staff made this process go smoothly and made the transition easier to transfer. I could not have done this without their help,” said Lopez.
Another resource at PAC is the Veterans Affairs office. A full staff, including advisors, will help veterans and their dependents find out what education benefits they are eligible to use. Verlinda Verdeja, a Liberal Arts major and graduate of PAC, credits the VA office for helping her every step of the way.
“The Veterans Affairs office staff is amazing! They also assisted me with information on my transition to my current campus at Texas A&M-San Antonio. The PAC VA staff is truly committed to the academic success of every veteran student,” said Verdeja.
One new resource many students are unaware of is the S.H.A.R.E. Center, which stands for Student Health, Advocacy, Resource and Engagement. This is a place that provides social services, like a professional clothing closet for students, a food pantry for students and the community, career preparation, social services, financial advice and financial resources. The S.H.A.R.E. Center is run by staff, peer advisors, student ambassadors and students who are in the work study program.
According to Financial Literacy Senior Advisor Julie Knickrehm, “We’re here to help serve students to be able to complete their education with as many resources as needed.”
Some other important resources available at PAC are a Fitness Center, Advising Center, Assessment and Testing, Scholarship Assistance, Career Services, Computer Lab and laptop check-out, a Library and Personal Counseling. Finally, seven types of tutoring, on campus and online, include computer information systems, computer science, integrated reading and writing, math and science, as well as writing assistance and online tutoring, are all at a student’s disposal.
For more information on campus resources, visit the Student Life Office, located in the Student Center, Room 124. Their hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Their phone number is (210) 486-3125, or visit www.alamo.edu/pac/student-life.
You may also visit the S.H.A.R.E. Center in the Student Center, Room 101. Their hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Their phone number is (210) 486-3121, or visit www.alamo.edu/pac/share.