The following is a post from North Carolina Public Schools
State Superintendent Mark Johnson is reminding high school seniors that this week is Free College Application Week in North Carolina. The campaign supports high school seniors in completing three important college enrollment steps – residency, Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and college applications. This week, students can take advantage of free applications to all NC community colleges and many NC colleges and universities. Free applications are available this week through October 25. Superintendent Johnson emailed parents of high school seniors reminding them take advantage of this week’s opportunities.
“Parents should visit NC Countdown to College to learn about options after high school, including taking advantage of free college applications,” said Superintendent Johnson. “NC Countdown has more information and where to find help completing the free FAFSA application.”
FAFSA can help provide loans, grants, and other funds to support student’s next steps. Superintendent Johnson is also an advocate to make the FAFSA process simpler.
“Parents need an easier way to learn about and apply for funds to help their students continue their education,” said Johnson. “Applying for the FASFA needs to be less complicated.”
Work is already underway in Washington D.C. to do just that. Senator Lamar Alexander has introduced S.2557, the Student Aid Improvement Act of 2019. This legislation would create a “Student Aid Index” to auto-qualify low-income applicants for Pell Grant eligibility and remove the requirement that applicants list assets that were not reported on tax schedules.
This year, parents are allowed to use their prior year tax return instead of waiting until current year tax returns are filed to submit FAFSA application, so they can apply earlier in the senior year. The application period began October 1.
Parents of students who will graduate this school year should visit NC Countdown to College to learn about options after high school. They should also visit NCsuperintendent.com/nextsteps to find out more about high-demand career pathways in North Carolina.