February is Financial Aid Awareness Month!
The month of February is dedicated to a topic near and dear to our heart, Financial Aid Awareness month. Our efforts around empowering low-income, first generation students have focused around this topic with several of our initiatives, including most recently our College Assistance Program and our Financial Aid U Training Institute.
Financial aid has been a hot topic over the past couple of years. Most recently, the President and First Lady released a call to action on increasing college opportunity to low-income students. As the White House report points out, a college degree is more important to our own economic success than ever before. The share of jobs that require postsecondary education has doubled over the last 40 years, as jobs require more skills. Without a college degree, low-income children are more likely to continue the cycle of poverty than they are to move up. This can be demonstrated by the fact that over the course of one’s working lifetime, the median earnings of bachelor’s degree recipients are 65% higher than median earnings of high-school graduates.
Lack of overall knowledge that college can be affordable via federal and state financial aid is a huge barrier within the community. As the cost of college rises, the hopes of our client’s ability to be able to afford higher education end up having to refocus on just making ends meet.
So help us spread the word that financial aid is available for free via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and be on the lookout for tips from NCTC throughout the month of February to help clients apply for financial aid.