Youngstown State University and the Mahoning Valley College Access Program are joining forces to encourage students planning to enroll in college to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by the Feb. 15 priority deadline.
“We find many students waiting until school starts in the Fall to apply for financial aid; unfortunately, for some types of aid, this is too late,” said Lita Willis, executive director of MVCAP. “We are doing everything we can to help students and their parents complete the FAFSA by the Feb. 15 date.”
Submitting the FAFSA is required by virtually all colleges and universities to determine a student’s eligibility for nearly all types of federal, state and college-sponsored aid, including grants and work-study programs. Even if a student does not qualify for need-based aid, he/she must still complete a FAFSA to be considered for most federal student loans.
“One of the first and very important steps in the seeking financial assistance for college is completion of the FAFSA,” said Elaine Ruse, director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at YSU. “The application is online, and we have financial aid counselors and other resources available to assist in completing the form.”
The application is available here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/. The U.S. Department of Education has also produced a “How to Fill Out the FAFSA” video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRyXfUStHO0
“Experts say completing the FAFSA is a leading indicator that determines whether high school students in middle- to low-income families will go on to college or not,” Wills said. “High school guidance counselors, financial aid counselors at colleges and universities and local educational organizations agree that completing the FAFSA correctly and on-time is the best way to ensure the most help paying for a college education.”
MVCAP, founded in 2001 with financial assistance by the Raymond John Wean Foundation, is a nonprofit organization that provides college access services to students in the Mahoning Valley. The organization serves students at Warren G. Harding High School in Warren and East High School, Chaney High School and Choffin Career and Technical Center in Youngstown. Since 2002, more than 4,000 students across the Valley have received one-on-one college advising, including financial aid counseling and admissions assistance. At least 200 students have also received Last Dollar Scholarships to assist them during their first year of post-secondary education. More at http://themvcap.org/ or 330-394-3358.