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City of Rochester

March College Madness


About the Mayor's financial aid initiative

In March 2014, Mayor Lovely Warren launched March College Madness -- a program to creating opportunities for parents and students to learn about financial aid options and receive individual assistance in beginning the process of filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Information sessions were led by admissions and financial aid representatives from higher education partners who  presented “Financial Aid 101” -- an overview of financial aid programs and processes. Experts and trained volunteers provided one-on-one assistance to participants in obtaining a U.S. Department of Education PIN (Personal Identification Number) and completing the FAFSA.

The following page provides an understanding of how the program worked. Look for future announcements on Mayor Warren's continuing efforts to help city residents learn about the availability of college financial aid.

What is Financial Aid?



Financial aid is funds provided to students and families to help pay for college. The aid may come in the form of scholarships and grants that do not need to be paid back; or loans that will need to be paid back over time. Some colleges also have work study programs.


How do you apply? Let’s talk about FAFSA!

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To get started, go to www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov. This website will help you get a PIN – both the student and parent must have a PIN to get started – and will send you an estimate of how much financial aid that you may qualify for. It will also pre-fill many questions on the full FAFSA form. Now you are on your way!

More FAFSA Facts!

To start and complete the form, you will need to supply social security numbers and information about your family including income from the prior tax year (parent and student), household size and the number of people from your household who are already in college.
Once the FAFSA is filed, colleges will determine what level of aid you may be eligible for. You only need to do the FAFSA once – one and done! You do not need to do one for every college you apply to. You need to file a FAFSA form every year you are in college to remain eligible.

But wait, there’s more!

If you are attending a college in New York State, you may be eligible for the Tuition Assistance Program, or TAP. For more information, go to www.tap.hesc.ny.gov/totw. Individual colleges have their own scholarship and grant programs too. Don’t be afraid to ask the college admission or financial aid office about what else may be available to make your college education more affordable.

Need more help? We’re here for you.


check out these helpful websites


Check out the “Safe to be Smart” Program at the Wheatley, Lincoln, Sully, Maplewood and Arnett Branch Libraries as well as the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County on South Avenue. Our volunteers can help you with your FAFSA at any stage – whether you are just getting started or need help finishing your application. We’re here to help!


Attend a March College Madness Information Session 

  • Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    •  Locations: David F. Gantt Community Center, 700 North St.; Flint Street Community Center, 271 Flint St.; and the Rundel Memorial Library, 115 South Ave.
  • Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Locations: South Avenue Community Center, 999 South Ave.; Edgerton Community Center, 41 Backus St.; and the Rundel Memorial Library, 115 South Ave.

Thank you to our partners

Monroe Community College. SUNY Brockport. Roberts Wesleyan College. Rochester Education Foundation. St. John Fisher College. University of Rochester. Nazareth College. Rochester Institute of Technology. Rochester Public Library Safe to be Smart Program.



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