MOESC Receives Grant to Help Students Complete the FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an application used by virtually all two and four-year colleges, universities, and career schools for awarding Federal, state, and college-funded student aid. In order to help more students apply for these aid dollars, Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center was awarded a $75,000 grant to support the work in 15 grant partner districts. The Board of Governors accepted the grant at the Board meeting on Wednesday.
The state wants an educated workforce, but the number of graduating high school students going to college has declined. One roadblock to college attendance is the difficulty of completing the FAFSA. It is hoped and expected that by encouraging students to complete FAFSAs and assisting them with the submission process, more students will pursue college enrollment. The total cost of this program is underwritten by the Ohio Department of Education, there is no cost to member schools nor to MOESC.
Through this initiative, knowledgeable coaches are assigned to each member high school to encourage and assist seniors in completing federal student financial aid applications (the FAFSA). The aim is to support and supplement the efforts of school guidance counselors as the counselors deem appropriate. Coaches are available to conduct group FAFSA information sessions and can work one-on-one with students and their parents to achieve FAFSA submission. Coaches are also able to assist with other college onboarding processes such as understanding admission applications and factors to consider in college selection.
Coaches are currently being assigned and counselors will be notified of their coach shortly. School personnel are encouraged to keep in contact with their assigned coach, either in person, by phone, or by email, throughout the year. Coaches are Scott Campo, Pam Stimpert, Sherri Tinch-Greter, and Jim Phinney.
Phinney said this grant will help free up school guidance counselors to assist students with the other phases of preparing for college attendance. “Typically, guidance counselors bear the responsibility of assisting students, but FAFSA coaches only have one job, assisting with FAFSA submission. Also, financial aid rules and procedures tend to change each year and the coaches have access to the latest FAFSA processing information.”
Mid-Ohio ESC will be hosting a combined schools College Credit Plus and Financial Aid night which include support for families completing the FAFSA on Thursday, November 18, 2021 6:00 p.m. Anyone with questions about the coaches and the program can reach out to Sherri Tinch-Greter at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jim Phinney at email@example.com.