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FAFSA Night Helps Put College Aid within Reach

“Finally being able to fill out my FAFSA gave me some relief in knowing there is a possibility of going to college. I now feel it’s closer than I ever thought it would be. I’m excited about my future.” – Nathaniel King, PeerForward FAFSA Night attendee

PeerForward kicked off 2022 with another big financial aid application push at our partner schools. On January 20th, we hosted FAFSA Night, an opportunity for students and their families to receive step-by-step guidance on the Federal Application for Student Aid. 

The virtual event drew 230 high school and college students and 108 families from across the New York, Maryland, DC, and Florida regions. Five PeerForward Coaches, two Coaches in Training, and four PeerForward Advisors supported attendees through the application process. 

To build publicity for the event, we partnered with PeerForward teams and school districts to promote the event on their social media platforms and by announcements. 

The event was a big success, as survey response data shows: 

When asked what they found most helpful during the event, participants commented on the step-by-step structure: “The moderators showed the actual FAFSA and completed it along the way with the audience,” one respondent said. Additionally, participants appreciated hearing “tips on what to do after finishing the FAFSA” and how to change information after submission. Families also enjoyed receiving clarification on how to report legal guardian and parent information. 

Students who file their FAFSA early tend to receive double the amount of funding as those who file late – yet low-income students are less likely than their wealthier peers to file between the critical months of October and January. By demystifying the financial aid application process, PeerForward is working to level the higher education playing field and put college funds in reach of the students who need them most. 

Aaliyah Stevenson, a student from Clinton, Maryland and FAFSA Night attendee, reflected on what applying for financial aid means to her: 

“I felt great and accomplished to submit my FAFSA and fund my future. I had always worried about paying for college as well as if I would get any money from FAFSA. I was glad to find out not only how to properly apply, and that I can change my information multiple times a year, but that I can also earn money for college.”

 

 

 

Largo High School Peer Leader Rullian Mbabtit Tebit also expressed her excitement at completing the FAFSA: 

“It feels amazing! I’m so excited and hoping FAFSA will provide me with a lot of money. This money would help reduce my stress level and future college debt.”

 

 

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