By Ellen Fugate, Applied Data Manager
Did you know that every year, students across the country miss out on close to $3 billion in available federal financial aid due to not submitting the FAFSA?1
The college application and financial aid processes can be overwhelming. That’s why teachers and counselors across the RISE Network are working to make the process more accessible and manageable for students and their families. Many schools have launched college application and financial planning campaigns to offer students targeted support during each step of the postsecondary planning process. This includes assistance completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application, which can help make college a more affordable postsecondary option for students. Not only that, data show a strong relationship between FAFSA completion and college graduation.
In November, the Maloney and Platt teams joined forces to host a Saturday FAFSA workshop for seniors and their families. Between 9 AM and 12 PM, families visited Platt’s media center to meet with a group of financial aid experts. Over 30 students from Maloney and Platt, equipped with the needed financial information, completed the entire FAFSA during the event, while many others made important progress on the process. Many enthusiastic volunteers from both Maloney and Platt participated, as well as financial aid experts from Post University, Middlesex Community College, and several other community-based organizations. The district also leveraged resources from the RISE/uAspire college affordability workshop hosted earlier this year.
By organizing this Saturday session, Maloney and Platt took part in FAFSA Day Connecticut, a statewide effort to assist students and their families in accessing higher education. For organizing a local event, the schools received a scholarship from the CT Association of Professional Financial Aid Administrators, which they raffled off to a lucky student who completed the FAFSA during the event. Now is one of the best times to complete the FAFSA and I strongly encourage schools to organize events like this one for students and families. You’ll be amazed at what can happen in just one day of hard work and excitement for what the future holds.
1How to Grab Nearly 3 Billion of College Aid, Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2018/10/19/how-to-grab-nearly-3-billion-of-college-aid/