04-16-2019 · Education · African-American Partnership

Thanks to United Way of Greater Atlanta’s partner, Delta Air Lines, we are zeroing in to ensure ALL students have access to a college education by helping families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Did you know that on average less than 50 percent of high school seniors in Georgia will apply for federal aid money? Unfortunately, students who could benefit the most from financial aid are less likely to apply. Why is that? These students are exposed to a disproportionate amount of barriers, including confusion about the process, lack of awareness about the money that is available and fear of the unknown, among others. Preparing students for college is in strong alignment with our child well-being initiative, so ensuring all students, regardless of economic stance or zip code, can achieve a postsecondary education is absolutely pertinent in furthering our goal.

Paying for college is the number one barrier in getting people to go to college, while not filling out FAFSA is the number one barrier in being able to pay for college. That’s why we’re bringing the resources to them with the help of volunteers like you! College Bound season for us will be October through January. United Way of Greater Atlanta will recruit and train volunteers who will work one-on-one with families to complete the FAFSA paperwork at events we will host. By deploying information campaigns, collaborating across sectors, increasing training, tracking student data, and providing more strategic FAFSA reminders and assistance, communities can provide the support more students need to get the FAFSA done.

Colleges and universities use this form to determine your eligibility for federal, state and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans and work-study programs. FAFSA determines eligibility for financial aid by calculating how much families can afford to pay, using past tax records– the lower the income and assets, the more aid is available. Additionally, FAFSA completion is strongly associated with postsecondary enrollment. In fact, data indicates that a 2% increase in FAFSA completion nationally could lead to 172,500 additional postsecondary degrees per year.

By volunteering your time and services, you can join us in ensuring that all students have a fighting chance at obtaining a postsecondary education. Sign-up to volunteer at AAP’s Day of Service today!