Special Kick-off Event Offers FAFSA Help to FWCS High School Seniors

September 20th, 2018

“The FAFSA Effect: You’ll Never Know if You Don’t FAFSA” Event Serves Up Free Food, T-shirts and Help Completing the FAFSA Form

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) high school seniors and their families are encouraged to attend a free FAFSA Kick-off event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, at FWCS’ Family and Community Engagement Center (FACE), 230 E. Douglas Ave., with parking at the nearby Bill C. Anthis Center parking lot, 1200 S. Barr St.
Experts from FWCS and Purdue University Fort Wayne will offer free assistance starting at 10 a.m. to those interested in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filing the FAFSA, a government form that streamlines the financial aid process for students wishing to get a college degree or credential, is necessary to qualify for assistance and reduce student loan burden.

In additional to free FAFSA assistance, the event also will 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 file the FAFSA form, a student and one parent or guardian must each have a federal student aid identification and are encouraged to sign up for these online at fsaid.ed.gov prior to the event. Families also must bring their 2017 tax returns. Spanish translators will be present.
The FAFSA Kick-off marks the beginning of activities to be held at all five FWCS high schools and Purdue Fort Wayne’s campus to emphasize the importance of completing the FAFSA form. Universities and credential programs use the FAFSA as a basis for their offers to students of financial aid toward education or training after high school.
“To be considered for financial assistance, students must file a FAFSA,” said Shenita Bolton, K-12 college and career readiness manager for FWCS. “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 a student by the federal government to help pay for college, and it doesn’t have to be repaid.   
The campaign to spread the word about the importance of filing the form, called “The FAFSA Effect: You’ll never know if you don’t FAFSA,” is the result of a $35,000 grant from the National College Access Network (NCAN) made to the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, in collaboration with Purdue University Fort Wayne and FWCS.
NCAN awarded grants of up to $40,000 to 25 organizations throughout the country to implement FAFSA completion programs among school systems with lower than average rates of completion.
“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,” said Ryan Twiss, vice president of Regional Initiatives for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “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.”
Krissy Creager, associate vice chancellor of enrollment management and student success at Purdue Fort Wayne, said filing the FAFSA is secure and relatively quick, especially with help from school and college staff. The university also will have administrators and students available to speak with FWCS students about college.
“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,” said Creager.

For further information, email Shenita Bolton at Fort Wayne Community Schools at shenita.bolton@fwcs.k12.in.us or Krissy Creager at Purdue Fort Wayne’s financial aid office at creagerk@pfw.edu. High school seniors and families can also receive help completing the FAFSA by going online to fafsa.ed.gov or calling 1-800-433-3243.

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s mission is to build, market and sell Northeast Indiana to increase business investment. Founded in 2006, the public-private partnership strives to build a globally competitive region. The Partnership’s Vision 2030 framework supports collaborative regional efforts to increase per capita income, population growth and educational attainment by focusing on business attraction, talent attraction and talent development. The Partnership represents 11 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.neindiana.com.


Kate Virag
Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Communications
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

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