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Posted September 29, 2017

Time for Seniors to Apply for College Financial Aid

APS high schools are hosting workshops beginning in October to help students and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA.

Approximately $150 billion is available nationwide through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. Last year alone, the average student received $15,000 for his or her education after high school. This includes financial assistance to attend universities, community colleges and trade schools.

APS is helping students and families to grab their piece of this $150 billion pie!

"Too many of our students aren’t continuing their education because they think they can’t afford it," said APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy. "We want to show our students that help is available for them to pursue their college and career dreams."

Albuquerque is one of 22 cities in the nation chosen by the Kresge Foundation and the National College Access Network to participate in the FAFSA Completion Challenge. Last year, APS increased its completion rate to 54 percent, up 3.6 percent from the year before. This year, the district would like to see that rate increase to more than 60 percent.

FAFSA completion is important because students who fill out the application are 63 percent more likely to attend college. Low-income students who do not file the FAFSA leave millions of dollars of unclaimed financial aid on the table each year.

APS is working with its partners in College Connect NM to increase the FAFSA completion rate. Partners include the University of New Mexico, the Unidos Project, Central New Mexico Community College, the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation, GEAR-UP New Mexico and, of course, APS school counselors who work with students to complete the FAFSA.

Updates to the FAFSA will make it easier for students and families to complete. The FAFSA now opens on Oct. 1 and can be completed with your 2016 taxes. No longer do students and families have to wait for the new year and tax season to begin their free application for financial aid.

Watch this video prepared by Federal Student Aid on FAFSA Tips for Parents.

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