Current high school seniors can now apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help provide financial assistance for attending college. However, in the wake of a devastating hurricane, applying for FAFSA may be more difficult for some students, especially for those who may have lost documents needed during the storm. Champions For Learning is committed to ensuring Collier County students have the resources necessary to apply for and receive financial aid.
A completed FAFSA form opens the door for need and merit aid to be award from the Federal, State, and Institutional level. In fact, over 90% of all private scholarships require the FAFSA to be completed. That is why Champions For Learning will be hosting a FAFSA Completion Event, Saturday, October 22nd from 9am to 12pm at Lorenzo Walker Technical High. There, trained staff and volunteers will be available to assist students and parents in completing their online FAFSA form. Florida SouthWestern State College, Florida Gulf Coast University, and Lorenzo Walker Technical College admissions will be in attendance providing admission application waivers along with some providing instant admission and decisions. The Collier Community Foundation will also be on site sharing scholarship opportunities.
“FAFSA should be included in the first steps in planning for education after high school. The great thing is, you don’t even have to apply or have been accepted into college yet. Students who complete the FAFSA may qualify for aid to be used at a technical college, state college or university,” said Jessica Manchette, Chief Programs Officer, Champions For Learning. “Aid from completing the FAFSA opens the door for not only a high-quality degree or credential, but also the potential for a career in a in-demand industry in our community. The sooner students apply, the more funding is available. Champions For Learning is dedicated to helping students and families across southwest Florida complete this milestone as their first step into post-high school education.”
Applying for FAFSA requires certain documents such as a social security number (student only), previously filed tax returns (for 2021). For students who lost everything in Hurricane Ian, providing these documents could be extremely difficult. Champions For Learning has gathered resources on how to obtain these documents as well as how the storm may have impacted the student’s financial situation if the student is now homeless or if the student is receiving special aid related to Hurricane Ian. Resources can be found here.