$tand By Me® Helps College-Bound Students and Parents Tackle the Dreaded FAFSA Form
Workshops held thought Delaware to help students and parents achieve their college dreams.
$tand By Me® reminds parents with high school students that it’s time to fill out and submit the Free Application For Federal Student Aid — or FAFSA — for the 2015-2016 academic year. It is the first step in getting help to pay for college.
Schools use the results from completing the FAFSA to help them determine how much and what type (grant, scholarship, work study or loan) of financial aid a student is eligible to receive.
To assist with this important process, $tand By Me® and its College Funding Project team will offer free financial aid workshops through March at high schools throughout Delaware.
“We’re here to help families find ways to pay for college. Because filing a FAFSA is so crucial to a student’s ability to attend college, we want parents to know the facts about the federal form and not be misled by myths,” said Mary Dupont, Director of Financial Empowerment for the State of Delaware and Director of $tand By Me®. “Our goal is to not only provide information about funding sources for college, but also to help families fill out the online FAFSA application and get it submitted so they are able to qualify for financial aid.”
At FAFSA Completion Workshops, parents and students work online to compete and submit the FAFSA in real time with the help of College Funding Project experts and experienced staff, $tand by Me coaches and trained volunteers from JP Morgan Chase, M&T Bank, Wells Fargo, Dupont, WSFS, Marlette Funding, Bank of America. The College Funding Project has scheduled more than 40 FAFSA workshops statewide, as well as financial aid nights and scholarship presentations, in an effort to work individually with students throughout the state to achieve their college dreams.
The mission of $tand By Me’s College Funding Project is to ensure high school seniors have a funding strategy to pay for college. United Way of Delaware, a partner of $tand By Me®, supports the initiative to get Delaware students into college.
“Financial stability is one of our three strategic focus areas,” said Michelle Taylor, President and CEO of United Way of Delaware. “Having a college education helps people become economically stable and achieve advancement throughout their lives.”
FAFSA made easy Dupont said parents will see that the online FAFSA application is very user-friendly, formatted in large print with easy-to-understand questions.
Financial aid is available to students, regardless of their GPA or test scores. Most federal student aid programs are based on financial need. Private scholarships may look at grades but other factors such as leadership qualities, heritage, major and residence are also considered.
A student whose grades are less than excellent can qualify for student loans but can also receive free money in the form of scholarships or grants. Other factors unrelated to grades may come into play, like the student’s area of study, geographic location and heritage.
For instance, if there’s a shortage of teachers in the country or a certain state, a scholarship may be created and offered to students who want to be teachers. The financial aid staff at the school where your child applies can help you identify these special scholarships, but you can also search online for them. Sometimes scholarships are just $1000 or $2000, but that’s money that won’t have to be repaid. They add up when coming from different sources.
“There are many variables at play.” Dupont said, “The first step in finding out how much aid a child can receive is to file the FAFSA.”
To schedule an appointment for help with the FAFSA or for more information, call 302-255-9621 or visit collegefundingproject.org.
To assist with the important process of applying for financial aid, $tand By Me® and its College Funding Project team will offer free financial aid workshops at high schools throughout Delaware.
Feb. 6: Dickinson High – Scholarship-Student Event
March 5, 8-10 p.m.: Christina District College Fair
Feb. 4, 9:15-10:30 a.m.: Dickinson High Student Event
Feb. 11, 6-8:30 p.m.: A.I. du Pont High
Feb. 24, 9-11 a.m.: McKean High
Feb. 7, 9-11 a.m. St. Georges Tech
Feb. 10, 6-8 p.m.: Christiana High
Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m.: Brandywine High
Feb. 11 and 12, 6-8 p.m.: Middletown High (Coaching by Appointment)
Feb. 12, 6-8 p.m.: William Penn High
Feb. 17, 6-8 p.m.: Glasgow High
Feb. 19, 7-9 p.m.: Hodgson Tech
Feb. 26, 6-8 p.m.: A.I. du Pont High
March 3, 6 p.m.: Delaware Academy of Public Safety
March 7, 9-11 a.m.: St. Georges Tech
March 10, 6-8 p.m.: William Penn High
Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m.: Cape Henlopen High
Feb. 19, 5-8 p.m.: Delmar High
Feb. 23, 6-8 p.m. Laurel High
Feb. 24, 5-7 p.m.: Seaford High
Feb. 12, 5-8 p.m.: Indian River SD Parent Center (Coaching by Appointment)
Feb. 28, (Times TBD): Smyrna Days
March 3, 5-7 p.m. Dover High School (FAFSA focus)
March 5, 2:30-7 p.m.: Dover High (FAFSA focus)
April 21 (Times TBD): Smyrna High (FAFSA4Caster)