7 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Gough
Educational leaders and Quincy Mayor encourage High School Seniors and College students to file FAFSA early
Quincy’s educational leaders and mayor gave a simple, but valuable piece of advice for high school seniors and college students today– get in line early.
The line being that for federal and state financial assistance based on filing the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA). The FAFSA application is used to determine eligibility for students to receive federal and state grants, federal work study and loans
Students who file before the end of February will be in the front of the line for federal funds, but also for the decreasing pool of grants through Illinois’ Monetary Award Program (MAP).
“Last year students who filed the FAFSA after March 1 were not considered for any MAP grants because the state’s pool of money had already been depleted,” Melanie Lechtenberg, JWCC dean of enrollment services said. “That is a big opportunity lost, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending upon the cost of tuition at a student’s chosen institution.”
Map grants range from $ $300 to $4,968 based on students’ individual or family income and the cost of tuition at their chosen schools. Federal Pell grants range $659 per year to a maximum of $5,550.
Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore issued a FAFSA Challenge to all high school seniors and college students from Quincy to file the form by February 15.
Leaders from Quincy’s educational institutions, including John Wood Community College, Quincy University, Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Vatterott College support the mayor’s challenge and have already encouraged students through their own individual campus campaigns.
Almost 10 percent of seniors in Quincy’s two high schools filed the FAFSA as of January 17 for the 2014-2015 academic year. Stephen Cobb, superintendent of Quincy Public Schools shared that 53 of 456 seniors have filed the FAFSA. 37 of 368 seniors have filed the FAFSA according to an Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) report. Similarly, QND Principal Mark McDowell said that 27 of 109 seniors completed the FAFSA in the same time frame according to ISAC’s information.
Dr. John Letts, president of JWCC, promoted a free opportunity to help families file the FAFSA with the assistance of JWCC experts. The College will host “College Goal Sunday” February 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. on the Quincy campus at 48th and Harrison.
JWCC personnel will assist with electronic filing of the FAFSA. Students or parents are asked to bring 2013 income tax information or their 2012 tax return to aid in the filing process. Estimated figures can be used on the form if 2013 income tax information is unavailable. Families who have already electronically filed the FAFSA with estimated figures for 2014-2015 and have completed 2013 taxes about a month prior to the event can receive assistance with the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Process. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows access to tax information to transfer data directly to the FAFSA.
More information is available by calling Julie Porter, JWCC financial aid specialist, at 217.641.4329 firstname.lastname@example.org.