CHARLESTON, W.Va. — They’ve been making up ground but state higher education officials say they are still behind where they need to be with recently graduated high school seniors completing a key piece of financial aid information.
The state Higher Education Policy Commission working with member campuses will host “College Bound Saturday” this Saturday at 13 sites where they’ll be offering free help to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid.) The events will go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A completed FAFSA is required to get financial aid for college or other post-secondary education.
The pandemic has slowed the process down this year, mainly because seniors weren’t in their classrooms on a consistent basis until the second half of the year, HEPC Senior Director of Financial Aid Brian Weingart said.
“We’re about 7% behind last year’s numbers. We’ve made up some ground but we still want to help these kids be able to go to college in the fall,” he said.
The state has moved both the Promise Scholarship and West Virginia Higher Education Grant deadlines to July 1 to give families more time to finish the FAFSA that’s required with both scholarship programs.
Weingart said it will be good to get together with families Saturday to provide assistant.
“There’ll be people there to lead them into a computer lab or someplace where they can socially distance but yet at the same time be able to fill out the FAFSA and have someone to help them fill it out,” he said.
Weingart said those participating should bring a 2019 tax return, W2’s from 2019, Social Security numbers, a driver’s license and other account information. He said it should only take about 20 minutes to complete the FAFSA,.
There’s a lot of money on the table, Weingart said.
“It’s scholarships, grants, money you don’t have to pay back to go to college,” he said. “West Virginia provides over $100 million in state financial aid each year to help kids go to college.”
Those who attend will have a chance to win a free computer.
Students can pre-register and find more information – including a list of items to bring – at www.cfwvconnect.com/college-bound-saturday.
College Bound Saturday locations include:
Concord University (Athens, WV)
James Monroe High School (Lindside, WV)
Lincoln County High School (Hamlin, WV)
Marshall University (Huntington, WV)
Mid-Ohio Valley Center (Point Pleasant, WV)
Salem University (Salem, WV)
Shepherd University (Shepherdstown, WV)
Southern WV Community and Technical College (Mt. Gay, WV)
Spring Mills High School (Martinsburg, WV)
West Virginia University Institute of Technology (Beckley, WV)
West Virginia Northern Community College (Wheeling, WV)
West Virginia State University (Institute, WV)
West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)