News Release Mayor Lovely Warren and Rochester College Access Network Invite College-Bound Seniors to “FAFSA Fest” Saturday

City of Rochester

News Release

(Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren and the Rochester College Access Network invite college-bound high school seniors and their families to attend the third of six FAFSA Fest events of the 2017-2018 season from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2 at Franklin High School, 950 Norton St. FAFSA Fest is a series of free events to help students and families take the first step towards making college an affordable reality.

“Events like FAFSA Fest remove barriers and show our students that college is achievable and attainable, opening the doors not only to education opportunities, but also jobs and safer more vibrant neighborhoods,” said Mayor Warren. “I am thankful for the many partners in this community that work tirelessly to make college a reality for our residents. College costs continue to rise, and FAFSA Fest ensures that students are aware of their financial aid opportunities.”

FAFSA Fest 2017-2018 helps students who plan to attend college in the 2018-2019 school year complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Volunteers including financial aid counselors from local colleges will be on hand to answer financial aid questions and provide one-on-one help to understand college costs. The event is for high school seniors and their families and for students in college receiving aid who need to file a FAFSA form annually. Students will also be able to learn about New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship which, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free. Pre-registration is not required and refreshments will be provided.

Financial aid is offered on a first-come, first-served basis – so it is critical to submit the FAFSA as early as possible. Applications for colleges and universities have different due dates. Many four-year college deadlines fall in January and February, and community colleges have various application deadlines throughout the year.

Remaining FAFSA Fest events in 2017 and 2018 are scheduled as follows:
• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan., 13, 2018 at East High School, 1801 E. Main St. Free parking.
• 5 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 at REOC, 161 Chestnut St. Free parking at the Strong.
• Noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 3, 2018 at MCC Downtown Campus, 321 State St. Free parking.

Students attending the events are eligible for a drawing to win a $500 scholarship to the Monroe Community College bookstore, thanks to the Monroe Community College Foundation.

“Filling out the FAFSA form can be complicated and difficult for students and families. These events provide trained, confidential help to students and their families,” said Patricia Braus, chair of Rochester College Access Network and executive director of Rochester Education Foundation. “We’ve seen a steady increase in the number of Rochester students submitting their FAFSA forms early, when more financial aid is available. Thousands of dollars in aid is available to many of our students. Please help us spread the word about these events so all of our students can submit their forms early to get the most financial aid.”

The number of Rochester students submitting FAFSA forms early enough to be considered for most scholarships and grants has increased 50 percent since the launch of FAFSA Fest in 2015.

Students, parents or guardians planning to attend any of the FAFSA Fest events are asked to bring their 2016 Federal tax returns. All students are welcome and assistance for special circumstances will be available.

ESL Charitable Foundation, Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, The Community Foundation, William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Oppenheimer Funds, Monroe Community College Foundation, WDKX 103.9, News 8 WROC, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Rochester Educational Opportunity Center, Paychex, ConServe, Roc the Future, Rochester City School District and New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA) join the City of Rochester as sponsors.

Rochester College Access Network (RCAN) is a program of Rochester Education Foundation. RCAN is a collaborative initiative encouraging college access and success through communication, coalition and advocacy for students in Rochester to enable students to reach their full potential. Members of RCAN include every local college or university, Rochester City School District, the Rochester Area Community Foundation, not-for-profit groups including Hillside Work Scholarship Connection and the Urban League, and business and other individual representatives. Rochester College Access Network is a component member of the Roc the Future community-wide coalition that tracks the work of local agencies seeking to close the achievement gap for students in Rochester schools.

For more information, visit www.RochesterCAN.org, www.cityofrochester.gov/FAFSAfest, or call Rochester Education Foundation at 271-5790.

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News Media: For more information, contact Press Officer Jessica Alaimo at 428-7135.