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Financial Aid Events Wrap-Up

by Karl Gapuz, Community Partnerships Co-Lead, and Haley Strandberg, Event Coordinator

Every year, we as an organization support the Road Map Project’s annual campaign of events coordinated by the Community Center for Education Results (CCER) in conjunction with several districts, schools and community-based organizations. It’s an opportunity for us to support students in our region beyond our regular visits and for a longer duration of time.

This winter, the region had an emphasis on events centered on starting and completing applications for FAFSA/WASFA financial aid. We were able to bring 180 mentors into our community and attend 24 events throughout the span of January, a record in both our mentor attendance as well as the number of events we committed to.

Prior to the start of the quarter, Dream Project made the decision that instead of hosting our annual Scholarship Saturday event, we should take a step back and instead support local financial aid events more heavily. This change was enacted in order to increase the attendance for these events at a location that is more easily accessible for our mentees.

Along with increasing mentor and mentee turnout to these events, we supplied snacks and light refreshments, scholarship lists and FAFSA/WASFA tipsheets to ease the financial aid process. Overall, we were able to support over 400 students throughout the region as they navigated the tricky FAFSA/WASFA process, applied for scholarships and learned about the nuances of school grants and federal loans.