Thousands of dollars offered to college students through FAFSA
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Thousands of families across the Lowcountry can send their kids to college while saving money thanks to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
FAFSA provides free access federal grants and loans as well as state grants and scholarships that can be used to pay for tuition and college-related expenses.
The money allocated to students is dependent upon their family’s income and ability to help pay for their education.
“The financial barrier is just one hurtle,” said Sarah Piwinski, the director of Data Management and Analysis for Tri-County Cradle to Career. “Having a plan in place helps them overcome the barriers to get in to college or some post-secondary degree.”
Piwinski said a lot of students are surprised by the amount of money that they receive.
“If I didn’t have FASFA, I would not be able to afford to go to college,” said Kristin Strickland, a student at Trident Technical College. “To have to pay $6,000 to $7,000 out of my pocket is not something I’m able to do right now.”
The Tri-County Cradle to Career has a College Cash Campaign to try and get more students to complete the FASFA.
“Most students don’t complete it because its' too hard and can’t afford to go to college,” Piwinski said.
Piwinksi said the high school graduation rate for the Tri-county is 84%.
She said by filling out the FASFA it can help to build a college-going culture.
“Forty percent of students are ready for college level work and 65% are ready for a career,” Piwinski said. “So, if you have 85% of your students graduating from high school on time, only 40% of them considered ready to enter college level work, and 65% are ready for the work force based on the assessments that are given in our state.”
Piwinski said they want to make sure students are leaving high school prepared, and have more kids complete the FASFA to later attend college.
The deadline to submit a FASFA is June 30, 2019.
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