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1/3/2013 5:00:00 PM
New video helps students with federal aid application
Special to the Times


BLYTHE - Riverside County high school seniors are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) promptly once applications open on Jan. 1, 2013. To help families navigate the process, a coalition of Riverside-area educational groups has created a video tutorial. The video can be viewed on the website of the Riverside County Office of Education, www.rcoe.us.

"We're focused on encouraging all our students to continue their education beyond high school," said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Young. "In today's global economy, college and career readiness are the keys to success, for our young people and for this region."

The nine-minute video walks students through the process of completing the application, explaining key passages and sources of financial aid. The information is applicable for all high school students, regardless of the college or university they hope to attend.

The video has been developed in partnership with the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) and the Completion Counts initiative, which also includes the City of Riverside, Riverside City College, Alvord Unified School District, Riverside Unified School District, University of California, Riverside, and Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.

The initiative's goal is to make a college degree attainable for every Riverside County student and raise the county's college going rate. The video features Deanna Murrell, a Riverside City College counselor who presents FAFSA workshops at the Riverside College and Career Fair.

For college-bound students, the FAFSA is critically important. It's necessary for grants, loans and work study funds from the federal government, and required by other key sources of financial aid as well. But the application needs the attention of parents and caregivers as well as students.

Aid packages are determined in part on family income; therefore, students are advised to complete the application as soon as possible after Jan. 1, since some funds are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on Completion Counts and the FAFSA process, go to www.college311.org and follow the links at "high school students" to "paying for college." The actual FAFSA application site is www.FAFSA.ed.gov.




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