Cleveland Rocks the FAFSA: Financial First Steps for College Access
Under Mayor Jackson’s direction, the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), in partnership with a number of area social service agencies, have proclaimed January as FAFSA Financial Aid Awareness Month.
The word "college," often spoken throughout the halls of Cleveland’s high schools, is now a real possibility, even for those students facing financial challenges. In the past, students said “if I make it.” Now, students can say "when I make it” - with the help of strong supporters like Mayor Jackson. This campaign, which is sponsored by the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland, a collaboration of local businesses, educational, civic and philanthropic groups, looks to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared for, have access to and have completed college by stressing the importance of the federal government’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (or "FAFSA" for short).
To spread the word to high school seniors about the importance of completing this form, the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland will be hosting a public event at the Cleveland City Hall Rotunda on January 11 from 11 AM until 12:30 PM. Attending the event, called "Cleveland Rocks the FAFSA", will be the Honorable Mayor Frank Jackson, the CMSD CEO Eric Gordon and members of the Compact, who will outline their plans to help foster a community built on education and opportunity. The campaign goal is to ensure at least 60% of CMSD high school seniors complete the FAFSA form in 2012.
Those interested in attending the event should RSVP to Elizabeth Day at firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, January 4th. Those organizations and individuals interested in volunteering with the campaign may also contact Malik Moore, Director of Community Services at the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, at 216-263-6805.
The YMCA is a proud sponsor of this and many other college readiness programs offered to CMSD students as part of the YMCA’s City Agenda. In partnership with Cleveland State University's Admissions Office, Tanese Horton, one of CSU's admissions counselors, leads a monthly presentation at the Downtown Y that helps students and families make college access a reality. Those students hoping to apply for financial aid, or anyone interested in learning more about the financial aid process, can attend the next FREE Financial Aid Literacy and Completion Workshop, scheduled for Saturday January 21st from 9 AM to 1 PM at the Downtown YMCA.
Brandon Woyma is a sophomore at Cleveland State University and a YMCA volunteer. His major is nonprofit management.