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FAFSA kickoff event scheduled

October 1st, 2018

By Doug LeDuc | Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly

Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Community Schoolsand the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership are encouraging FWCS high school seniors and their families to attend a Free Application for Federal Student Aid kickoff event to help fund college education.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6, at the FWCS Family and Community Engagement Center, 230 E. Douglas Ave. Financial aid experts from the university and FWCS plan to offer free help to participants interested in completing a FAFSA form.

The federal form streamlines the financial aid process for students who want to seek a college degree or other credential.

In additional to free FAFSA assistance, a Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership statement on the event said it also would include:

  • Food trucks, starting at 11 a.m. (FWCS high school seniors and one guest each can receive a meal voucher after filling out the FAFSA form.)
  • T-shirt giveaways for students completing the FAFSA form
  • Music provided by DJ Rello
  • Games and activities
  • Opportunities to win incentives for FAFSA completion, including: a Visa gift card, various spirit baskets and three Purdue University Fort Wayne scholarships.

“To be considered for financial assistance, students must file a FAFSA,” Shenita Bolton, K-12 college and career readiness manager for FWCS, said in the statement.

“Even seniors who are not sure of the path they will take after graduation are encouraged to complete the FAFSA form, so if they eventually decide to pursue education after high school they will have an opportunity for free financial support, scholarships, work-study, loans and even Pell grants.”

A Pell grant is money given to students by the federal government to help pay for college, which they don’t have to repay.

To file the FAFSA form, a student and a parent or guardian must each have federal student aid identification. They are encouraged to sign up for these online at fsaid.ed.gov prior to the event. Families also needed to bring their 2017 tax returns to fill out the forms.

The FAFSA kickoff event and a related campaign to increase awareness of federal financial aid for college was funded with a $35,000 grant the National College Access Network awarded the regional partnership, in collaboration with the university and FWCS.

“Our goal is that by the year 2030, at least 60 percent of the residents in our 11-county region in Northeast Indiana will hold some type of college degree or career credential,” Ryan Twiss, the partnership’s vice president for regional initiatives, said in the statement.

“We’re happy to be part of the efforts to help students consider their options to pursue a trade or degree and become aware of how filing the FAFSA can open doors,” he said.

Filing the form is a secure and relatively quick process, especially with help from financial aid experts at educational institutions, said Krissy Creager, associate vice chancellor of enrollment management and student success at Purdue Fort Wayne.

“In addition to discussing the FAFSA, Purdue Fort Wayne will be happy to answer questions about the admission process, course enrollment and other aspects of being a college student,” she said.

Help completing the FAFSA also is available online at fafsa.ed.gov or by calling 1-800-433-3243.