Young Eisner Scholars (YES) Program Director, Susan Saule, contributes to today’s post by sharing how a recent FAFSA workshop provided the perfect opportunity for collaboration across College Access Partnerships departments.
On Saturday, October 2, YES hosted a drop-in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) workshop for the Class of 2022 YES Scholars and their families from Watauga and Ashe Counties. It was a great time to jump into the FAFSA application together. In a joint effort by multiple College Access Partnerships (CAP) programs, Baylee Smith, College Advising Corps adviser from Ashe County, joined Rebeca Figueroa and Susan Saule, YES staff members, to answer specific questions that families had as they worked through the application. There were some technical glitches in the FAFSA system, which forced parents to log off and log in. Fortunately, information was saved!
There was plenty for families to work on even if the FAFSA could not be completed. Families also used the time to complete the Residency Determination Service (RDS) application for students who are applying to state institutions to qualify for in-state tuition.
Some families were also able to start the College Scholarship Service (CSS) profile, which is necessary for mostly private schools including, but not limited to, Davidson, Duke, Elon, and Wake Forest. [Please note that UNC Chapel Hill does require both the FAFSA and the CSS profile to be completed to apply for financial aid.]
Overall, the YES FAFSA workshop was a successful “one-stop workshop” for families to get a head-start in the applications students are required to complete in order to qualify for all forms of financial aid for college.
Being together in the same room as families made progress to complete the FAFSA helped them to realize they are not alone in this process. One YES Class of 2022 parent remarked,
“We just wanted to send a quick note of thanks for your time, energy and knowledge for Saturday's FAFSA workshop. Even with the website crashes and delays, I think everyone there at least got a good start on the process. Over the weekend, we were able to complete the FAFSA (at least initially), the North Carolina residency information (RDS) and also the CSS profile (and since she is applying mostly to private schools, this was essential).”
Have questions about FAFSA or about going to college? Reach out to your AppCAC adviser, GEAR UP coordinator, Upward Bound academic advisor, or YES staff.
YES Scholars and their families complete the FAFSA with help from AppCAC adviser, Baylee Smith, and YES staff members, Susan Saule and Rebeca Figueroa, during a recent FAFSA workshop.