Zach Srnis

Special Correspondent


Tax season is upon us once more. It is something everyone has to deal with, but for students, it can feel especially overwhelming. For students at Lorain County Community College, options are available to them and there is faculty on campus that will help with the process.

“There are success coaches that student can talk to help them,” said Cathy Shaw, an information support specialist at LCCC’s Women’s Link. “They can also ask the Women’s Link staff, located in the business building, at any time.”

Students can utilize the Ohio Benefits Bank, which is a website that allows students to file for free, Shaw explained.

“The Ohio Benefits Bank ( can also help with food stamps, and provides certain health services as well,” said Shaw.

The United Way of Greater Lorain County ( is another site that allows students to find the tax preparation locations in their area.

“Type in your city and you should see multiple options for you to go for tax preparation help,” said Shaw. “Most cities will yield results when searched. Nearly every town in the state has at least one place that can provide help. Locations for the college include the Learning Center and The Ridge campus,” she said.

The United Way of Greater Cleveland also offers free tax preparation help.

“The Ridge Campus, in North Ridgeville, is our permanent site and students can set up appointments at that location,” said Emily Laurel a representative of the United Way of Greater Cleveland. “When students arrive for the appointment they should have a photo ID, social security card, and relevant tax documents.”  

Another option for students is the Internal Revenue Service, which provides a free service for students. H&R Block’s website is free for students as well.

LCCC students also have the DASH Grant available to them as well, according to Shaw.

“Instead of talking out a loan, in which you would owe money, could simply receive a grant,” said Shaw. “The DASH Grant provides students with a gift of up to $500 for anything that is not a normal monthly expense.”

The DASH grant would cover anything from car repairs to unexpected medical bills. In order to receive the Dash Grant, students need to have the Pell Grant, have at least completed six credit hours at LCCC, and have current 1.6 GPA or higher, according to Shaw.