The deadline is approaching to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students planning to attend college in the 2019-2020 school year must submit the FAFSA by June 30 at the official government site www.FAFSA.gov.
Filling out the FAFSA is the first step for students to access federal grants and loans as well as both state and institutional grants and scholarships. These funds can be used to pay for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies. The funding accessed by completing the FAFSA is a pivotal part in many students’ decision to attend college.
Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s (TCCC) Future Ready Network launched the College Cash Campaign last year to provide supports for tri-county high schools during the 2018-2019 school year. The goal of the campaign is to increase FAFSA completion and college enrollment rates in regional high schools.
Over the past three years, more than 7,600 tri-county high school graduates did not enroll in college, and they are unlikely to qualify for the 60% of S.C. jobs that require a postsecondary credential.
“Education attainment is the most assured vehicle for social mobility. To meet the needs of the future workforce and improve economic mobility for youth in our region, more students need to pursue and complete a postsecondary degree or credential,” said Sarah Piwinski, Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Director of Data Management and Analysis. “Many students choose not to pursue postsecondary education because they believe they cannot afford to enroll. Funds accessed by the FAFSA can help make college more affordable.”
TCCC staff support have been working alongside school guidance counselors, administrators and teachers to build a college-going culture, host financial aid literacy workshops and outreach events, and provide FAFSA completion and college application assistance.
“It is important for families to know that they should submit a FAFSA whether they think they will qualify for aid or not,” Piwinski said. “For students to have access to federal loans, grants and work-study programs, the FAFSA is required.”
Students and parents with FAFSA-related questions should contact their school’s guidance department, call the federal student aid toll-free hotline at 1-800-433-3243 or visit TCCC’s College Cash Campaign webpage at http://tricountycradletocareer.org/college-cash-campaign.