Reducing Financial Barriers

student money barrierAppalachian knows that students from low-income families face extra challenges when it comes to paying for college. ACCESS addresses these financial challenges in two ways.

First, ACCESS students receive financial aid that covers their institutional charges (tuition, fees, room, board, and health insurance) – without loans – for eight semesters.

Second, a financial aid counselor is available to answer questions, help with budgeting, or to address unusual circumstances. The Director of Financial Support for ACCESS is Adam McCourry.

The ACCESS Financial Aid Award

ACCESS students receive a combination of grants, scholarships, and/or Work-Study.

  • When awards are determined, they include enough money to cover tuition, fees, room, board, and health insurance (if necessary). At this time, ACCESS cannot cover personal expenses, transportation costs, or additional supplies needed by the student.
  • Unless their financial need is met with grants and outside scholarships, ACCESS students are awarded a work-study job on campus. We strongly encourage ACCESS students to accept this offer. Students can work 6-10 hours per week and earn money, in the form of bi-monthly paychecks, to cover some of their personal expenses. Additionally, research shows that students who work a reasonable number of hours do better in school and are more likely to graduate than those who do not work or those who work too many hours.
  • ACCESS students are not eligible for loan money. If an ACCESS student takes on a loan to help pay for school or related expenses, then they no longer qualify for financial assistance from ACCESS. Our goal is for our students to graduate debt-free. We encourage all of our students to discuss money management with their academic advisor, mentor, or financial aid counselor before problems arise.
  • To help keep expenses manageable, ACCESS students are guaranteed on-campus housing for eight semesters. (Note: Once a student makes the decision to move off-campus, he/she is no longer guaranteed on-campus housing.)

Staying Eligible

ACCESS students must re-apply each year to remain eligible for our financial assistance. 

  • To re-apply, students and their families must complete the FAFSA by March 1st. 
  • All ACCESS students will then be required to complete the verification process through Appalachian’s Office of Financial Aid.
  • The Financial Aid staff will use the FAFSA and verification documents to determine if students are still eligible for ACCESS.