FARMINGTON — San Juan College is offering a series of free financial aid workshops in February, March and April to engage first-time college students.

The workshops will cover topics ranging from aid applications to managing spending. They are offered through a partnership with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, Free-for-All program.

"This is for students looking to attend college in fall 2013," said Jerry McKeen, director of the college's financial aid office. "Applying for financial aid can be very intimidating. We want to take out the complexity and fear."

The college has long performed outreach to local high school students, McKeen said. It organized the workshop series in spring 2012 to try and reach other groups in the community such as veterans looking to return to school.

"We're trying to build on it so it grows each year," he said.

The workshop series will cover three topics.

Managing Financial Aid and Spending workshops, held Feb. 12 and March 26, will teach participants how to understand the details of their financial aid plans and how to manage their finances while in school.

The Financial Aid Basics and FAFSA Completion Assistance workshops, held on 12 dates from February to April, will review financial aid procedures and help participants complete a 2013-2014 financial aid application. Students who complete one of the three February workshops will be entered into a drawing to win a laptop and a $500 scholarship provided by the FAFSA Free-for-All program.

Other workshops will cover how to maintain financial-aid eligibility and how to apply for scholarship programs.

Maintaining eligibility is a particularly important area because students often do not realize they have to maintain a specific grade point average to keep their aid, McKeen said.

"If a student comes to these workshops, they're empowering themselves to succeed," said Mindi Schrum, the office's assistant director.

Registration is required for the free workshops and space is limited to 25 students per session.

"It's important to register early," McKeen said. "Some financial aid funds are limited, and waiting until the last minute can add even more stress."

To register or for more information, call Angie Abeyta at 505-566-3564, send an email to financialaid@sanjuancollege.edu or stop by the college's Financial Aid Office located by the clock tower on the Farmington campus.