united way suncoast Archives | UnidosNow

Complete your #FAFSA with us!

Complete your #FAFSA to go to #college or #TechnicalSchool with us! Next Saturday, February 11th, from 1:30pm to 4:30pm at North Sarasota Public Library. #DreamBig #ReachHigh

¡Completa tu FAFSA para ir a la #universidad o a la #EscuelaTécnica con nosotros! El próximo sábado, 11 de febrero, de 1:30pm a 4:30pm en la biblioteca pública en Newton. #SueñaALoGrande #LlegaAlto

New Program in McIntosh Middle School

UnidosNow has started a new program in McIntosh Middle School thanks to the support of United Way Suncoast. We will provide middle-to-top performers with the tools they need to start thinking about going to college as they transition to middle school.

We will also offer workshops for students and parents on how to select colleges, learn about financial aid and scholarships, and some other tools to assist them in planning for higher education.

FAFSA Preparation Activities Underway

In 2015, more than $2.7 billion in financial aid for college went unclaimed.  Data show that 85% of students who complete the FASFA receive student aid. This is why UnidosNow and community partners in Sarasota and Manatee counties have been busy with launching this year’s FAFSA support for high school students and their families.

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UnidosNow Team at Holy Cross.

The UnidosNow education program team held outreach and information events at Holy Cross and Sacred Heart churches in Manatee County to promote the upcoming workshops in November, and into the New Year, where free, one-on-one assistance will be provided to families to complete the FAFSA form.

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Juan Arcila at a FAFSA workshop at Palmetto High School.

Last month, our collaborators from USF Sarasota-Manatee, Katie Fleck and Juan Arcila, gave a financial aid presentation, including FAFSA tips, at Palmetto High, where we will hold a FAFSA workshop on November 8th from 4:30 to 7:00 pm.

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Sarasota High School FAFSA Workshop.

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FAFSA Volunteer Training Workshop at United Way Suncoast.

The team also held a workshop at Sarasota High last month, where more than 100 attendees were able to complete their FAFSA forms. Our Sarasota partners, including the United Way Suncoast and The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, as well as financial aid officers from USF Sarasota-Manatee, State College of Florida, and the Ringling College of Art and Design were on site, assisting families with the process. Additional FAFSA sessions at other schools in Sarasota County will be offered this month.

Students and parents attending the FAFSA workshops will need to take the following information with them to be able to complete the form:

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s License number (if applicable)
  • Parent & Student 2015 Federal Income Tax Return
  • Alien Registration or Permanent Resident Card (if applicable)
  • 2015 untaxed income records

We wouldn’t be able to offer this valuable service for students who want to pursue post-secondary education without the dedicated volunteers who assist families through the FAFSA process. We held two trainings in October to prepare this special group of committed individuals for their task and we are very grateful for their critical contribution to this effort. Our thanks also go to USF Sarasota-Manatee and United Way Suncoast for hosting the trainings.

For more information and resources on FAFSA, click here.

All these workshops and training would not be possible without the remarkable collaborative work with our partners:

Thank you!

FAFSA Prep Workshops: Start Building your Future

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If you’re a senior planning to attend a post-secondary school, it’s important for you and your parents to complete a FAFSA form, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Federal student aid includes Federal Pell Grants, federal student loans, and work-study opportunities. In addition to determining eligibility for federal student aid, many states, private organizations, colleges, and career schools rely on information from the FAFSA to determine eligibility for non federal sources of aid.

There are two major changes to the FAFSA taking effect for the 2017–18 school year, which runs from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018:

  1. The FAFSA will be available earlier (October 1 of the previous year instead of January 1 of the upcoming school year).
  2. The FAFSA will collect income information from an earlier tax year.

To help students and parents prepare the form, UnidosNow is partnering with Talent4Tomorrow and the Manatee Education Collaborative to offer workshops at high schools in both Sarasota and Manatee counties, respectively, from October through February. Click here to see the calendar of dates and locations, and check the posters above.

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