BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A new citywide collaboration is working to increase the number of Birmingham-area high school seniors filling-out the required documents needed to help pay for college.
The new campaign, Cash for College, is a collaboration led by Alabama Possible’s Blueprints College Access Initiative, the Alabama Media Group and alumni from Leadership Birmingham. The Birmingham Education Foundation, Birmingham City Schools, the Bold Goals campaign, and others throughout the City are also participating. The goal of the campaign is to increase the number of students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA is required for all students applying for the Pell Grant, federal loans, and other work-study programs at Alabama’s two- and four-year, academic and technical schools.
To help meet this goal, the Cash for College campaign is hosting FAFSA completion workshops for Birmingham area high school students and their families at the YWoodlawn Family Resource Center (January 26, 2015), the UAB Business-Engineering Complex (February 21, 2015), and the A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club (February 26, 2015).
According to the U.S. Department of Education, nine out of 10 students who file a FAFSA enroll in postsecondary education the following fall. Only 39 percent of Birmingham City Schools’ 2014 graduating seniors completed a FAFSA form. The campaign is seeking to increase that number to 70 percent by the year 2020.
“There are a number of reasons why only 36 percent of Birmingham City Schools graduates pursue any form of post secondary education, but the cost of attending a two- or four-year institution should never one of them,” said Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible, one of the organizers of Cash for College. “Each year thousands of dollars are available to help students continue their studies beyond high school, but few in Alabama fill-out the required documents needed to qualify for assistance. The goal of the Cash for College campaign is to increase awareness about the resources available to students and guide them through this complicated process.”
Upcoming FAFSA Workshops and Events:
February 21, 2015 – UAB Business-Engineering Complex
1150 10th Avenue South
8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
In addition, at UAB, tax prep services will be available from the United Way’s VITA Program for individuals making up to $53,000. THE NABA UAB Student chapter will be volunteering as part of the United Way’s VITA program. Interested families should call 1-888-421-1266 to make an appointment, and mention you are a “FAFSA client making a tax prep appointment.”
February 26, 2015 – A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club
2900 South Park Drive Southwest
6 – 8 p.m.