NJIT has been awarded a $10,000 College Access Challenge Grant which will be matched by the university. The grant aims to increase outreach and opportunities for higher education access. The program assists needy New Jersey families at the start of the financial aid process, by among other things, most importantly helping them complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
“This money will enable us to reach out to students who really need help accessing higher education,” said Joel S. Bloom, vice president of academic and student services and dean of Albert Dorman Honors College. “Filing the FAFSA is a start towards making education accessible. Money, or the lack of it, should never prevent a student from attending college.”
Thanks to the grant, NJIT opens its doors in February for College Goal Sunday. The day-long, free financial aid workshop helps lower-income high school seniors and their parents navigate the financial aid opportunities for college-bound students.
Computers are made available to anyone registering and to submit their FAFSA form online. Spanish-speaking administrators are always available to assist. Filing an online application is not the only way to submit the FAFSA, although it is the best way to receive the fastest response.
“College Goal Sunday is a terrific way to help families navigate the online FAFSA,” said Bloom. “The aid process produces a lot of anxiety – college tuition is expensive – but we try at NJIT to make it as easy as possible for parents and students.”
Two separate workshops, one, conducted in English and one in Spanish, are usually offered. A panel of financial aid experts is available to answer questions. Door prizes, including a scholarship raffle, will be offered as incentives for participating students and families.
Parents and students will typically find financial aid officers readily available throughout the day to provide advice on filling out state and federal financial aid forms, especially the ones which parents who apply for federal and state aid assistance must complete. The officers will discuss how financial aid eligibility is determined and how families can make plans to finance a college education.