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Colorado to help students fill out financial aid forms


More students from Colorado will receive assistance in filling out important forms of federal financial aid under the new law, which will eventually aim to distribute more aid to the college.

The law intends to offer students more information on the benefits of filling out financial assistance formsa key step in opening federal grants and scholarships.

Colorado is among the top 10 states in the percentage of students who graduate Free application for federal student assistance, widely known by the acronym FAFSA. That means they leave on the table about $ 30 million in financial aid each year, even if polls show concern about cost are the main reason why students do not receive higher education.

This year, a working group of 20 experts was recommended raising the completion rate of FAFSA state. Lawmakers accepted several of their proposals. The report proposes to almost double the FAFSA completion rate to 80% from 45% – or at least move to the top 10% of states in that measure. The report also calls for someday making completion of the FAFSA a pre-school graduation requirement.

This year House Bill 22-136 create a catalog of resources that educators can share, enhance learning to help students apply for financial aid, and require schools to notify students of financial aid when drawing up high school plans.

State MP Katie Kip, a Democrat from Fort Collins who sponsored the bill, said it aims to cut the millions that Colorado students leave on the table each year.

Kip said the money was “sometimes the difference in whether or not students can get a secondary education.”

У states requiring completion of FAFSA as part of graduation, the percentage of students doing so has grown. However, effective enforcement of this requirement can be costly and can be difficult for educators.

Rena Bell of the Denver Scholarship Fund and a member of the working group said the recommendations call on lawmakers to support educators in order to make a demand for graduation from FAFSA by 2025.

“The committee wanted to give school districts the support they needed in teaching and resources, and the people to do it right,” Belle said. “We don’t want to put students or school districts in a bad place.”

Here’s what will change in the state regarding financial aid.

Grants to help districts provide more information to parents and students

Legislation will allocate $ 1.13 million to districts over three years to develop communication with parents and students about the benefits of filling out financial aid forms.

This could mean expanding assistance in the financial aid process or teaching teachers how to help students.

Financial Literacy Resource Bank

Consider it an encyclopedia for teachers.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education will receive $ 275,000 to create detailed information for faculty to talk to students about how to get money for college tuition and what degrees or tuition lead to work in areas in high demand. The state intends to engage younger students in college and career.

Money for teacher training

The Colorado Department of Education will give teachers a $ 500 scholarship when they graduate on how to improve the performance of financial aid applications.

The simplest application for state financial assistance

In 2024, the state will deploy Fr. a new application for state financial aid it will be more like a federal uniform.

More support to talk to students about life after high school

The state team should create training on how to talk to students about plans after graduation. The team should also provide training in staffing centers and correctional facilities, as well as for educating youth.

Incorporate financial aid into student careers and curricula

As part of students ’career and academic plans, teachers and counselors should teach students and families about the availability and importance of filling out applications for financial aid from the federal and state states.

Jason Gonzalez is a reporter covering higher education and the Colorado legislature. Chalkbeat Colorado partners with Open campus on the coverage of higher education. Contact Jason at jgonzales@chalkbeat.org.

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