Shouting About FAFSA and Scholarships

Betsy.Day.2014.smallIf you’re a parent of a high school or college student, you’re most likely familiar with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. This form unlocks scholarship and student loan money available from the government. READ MORE....

However, the form can be a challenge to complete, and we hear stories from people who didn’t apply because of encountering a roadblock with the form. What to do? Well, we put our heads together with nine other local nonprofits and adapted a program that’s been successfully used in other counties and we’re calling it “FAFSA Finish.” It’s a series of events throughout the month of February where students and families who have hit a roadblock in filling out their FAFSA form can receive assistance from financial aid experts and volunteers. It’s free, and the only “catch” is that you must register and reserve a time slot at one of the locations. Get more details and access to the registration form at

I want to give a shout out to the representatives making up the FAFSA Coalition and who are each playing a role to ensure the FAFSA Finish events are successful. They are Frederick Community College, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, Frederick County Public Libraries, Hood College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Frederick County Workforce Services, The Housing Authority of the City of Frederick, United Way of Frederick County, and the Community Foundation. This collaboration of effort and expertise speaks loudly to the importance these organizations place on the value of education. And, I want to give another very loud shout in appreciation of the more than 30 volunteers who recently attended training at our office so that they can assist at the events. This is another group of people who know the value of education and want to help others achieve it.

While FAFSA Finish events are going on, our staff is also visiting most high schools in the county to present an information session on how to apply for post-secondary and vocational scholarships from the Community Foundation made available by hundreds of generous donors. These sessions are also free, and the schedule is posted at the same web address listed above. There is more than $900K available in scholarship money for the 2017-18 academic year! The online application opens March 1, 2017, and will remain open through March 31, 2017.

The Community Foundation is proud to be a part of helping students achieve academic excellence. It is For Good. Forever. For Frederick County.

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