Grant aims for more urban students to apply for financial aid  

MARC logoKansas City is stepping up its efforts to help college students apply for financial aid.

The MidAmerica Regional Council says the National College Access Network has awarded the area $55,000 for education and outreach around the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The goal is to increase FASFA applications by 10 percent for the graduating high school class of 2017.

MARC says its GradForce KC steering committee and the KC Rising initiative are working with community partners, educational and business leaders to get more students into college programs and strengthen the region’s human capital assets.

They hope to let parents and students know about changes that make it easier to apply for federal financial aid.

“We know FAFSA completion is strongly associated with postsecondary enrollment, but every year hundreds of students in the Kansas City metro who are eligible for aid never complete the FAFSA,” said Sheri Gonzales Warren, who manages MARC’s workforce development programs. “By making it easier to complete the form, we can help more students — particularly disadvantaged students — apply for aid that can put them on the path to a college degree.”

Recent changes allow parents to use information from their previous year’s tax return to apply for FAFSA in the fall, rather than having to wait for spring of the following year.

Twenty-two cities received the grants to be used for the largest urban school district in each city with the highest number of students living in poverty.

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