February 27, 2004

Final Hands-On Workshop in the County Will Emphasize That College Is Affordable

The final San Diego County workshop in the state’s “Cash for College” financial aid assistance project will be held in North County. The workshop will help dispel the popular myth among many low-income students and parents that college is “just for rich kids” and unaffordable as a result of family income.

The program will be held Saturday, February 28, in the Student Union at San Marcos’ Palomar College. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will include hands-on help from college financial aid professionals regarding how to apply for federal and state aid for college.

Eddie LaMeire, North County Coordinator of Cal-SOAP and chief organizer of the workshops, feels that the timing of the event comes at a critical juncture for Californians. “Many parents and students are confused about the cost and affordability of college, especially in these days of budget cuts and fee increases,” says LaMeire. “The reality is that any California resident, regardless of socioeconomic background, can afford to go to college. These workshops are designed to help the people who need the money to get it.”

No appointment is necessary to attend the workshop, and families may drop in at any point during the four-hour span. Students in attendance will be eligible to receive one of ten statewide one-thousand dollar scholarships.

For further information on the workshop, contact Eddie LaMeire of Cal-SOAP at 760-891-0417 or elameire@ucsd.edu.

Cal Grant Deadline

Once again, tens of thousands of California students will be offered an opportunity to achieve the goal of attaining a higher education.

This program is fully funded to meet the needs of all students who meet the academic and financial requirements, yet, each year, many fail to utilize the money that is waiting for them. In fact, the Cal Grant program had to return about $35 million to the state general fund last year because too few high school students applied.

Students are evaluated for eligibility through both academic merit and exhibited financial need. A high school senior who meets the financial requirements and earns a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher is entitled to a Cal Grant B, which includes full tuition and a living stipend. Applicants who have achieved a 3.0 GPA and whose assets and income are below the financial ceiling can be awarded a Cal Grant A, which covers the full cost of tuition at UC and CSU campuses, and up to $9,708 at a private or independent college.

Applicants must complete two crucial forms: a GPA verification form and a Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA). Students must submit both forms no later than March 2, 2004. You may obtain an application at your local high school, by calling the toll-free number for the Student Aid Commission (1-888-CA-GRANT), or by accessing this link: www.fafsa.ed.gov.

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