Academic Magnet High School and Military Magnet Academy have been named champions of Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s College Cash Campaign for increasing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) completion rates by at least 5 percentage points. Academic Magnet received “MVP” honors after leading the entire school district with 83 percent completion. Military Magnet’s 71 percent completion rate and its 9-percentage-point improvement from last year won them the “Most Improved” designation.
TCCC’s Future Ready Network launched the College Cash Campaign to provide support for tri-county high schools during the 2018-2019 school year, with the goal of increasing FAFSA completion and college enrollment rates. TCCC staff worked alongside school guidance counselors, administrators and teachers to build a college-going culture, host financial aid literacy workshops and outreach events, and provide FAFSA completion and college application assistance.
“Completing FAFSA is a pivotal part in many students’ decision to attend college because it tells them the Federal scholarships and grants to which they are already entitled,” said John C. Read, TCCC’s chief executive officer. “We can do better as a community to encourage our students, particularly those who are in the greatest need, to take advantage of Federal and state supports for a postsecondary education.”
In 2019, only 52 percent of tri-county students filled out the FAFSA application, and even fewer students from high schools in low-income areas applied for financial assistance.
Filling out the FAFSA is the first step for students to access federal grants and loans as well as both state and institutional grants and scholarships. FAFSA funds can be used to pay for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies.