Executive Director of Communications & Development
PRESS RELEASE: Four venues in the State University System of Florida are open sites for 'College Goal Sunday'
Four venues in the State University System of Florida are open sites for 'College Goal Sunday'
Feb. 20 event will assist university-bound students,families with financial aid forms
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - "College Goal Sunday" - a statewide event to help students find money for college – is right around the corner on Feb. 20. Florida high school seniors and their families are invited to attend this important outreach event and have free help with completing financial aid application forms, including those required for federal government programs. Four of the locations for "College Goal Sunday" in the state are at institutions in the State University System of Florida:
• Florida International University, Miami;
• Florida State University, Tallahassee;
• University of Central Florida, Orlando;
• and University of South Florida, Tampa.
(Eds/Reporters: Contacts for each university are listed at the end of this press release.)
The one-day event features higher education leaders, organizations and university financial aid officers assisting with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the "FAFSA," a required form that determines eligibility for some state financial aid as well as all federal financial aid, such as the federal Pell grant program, work-study aid and loans. The state universities' financial aid offices depend on information in this common form for decision-making of need-based financial aid and other financial aid opportunities for incoming or currently enrolled students. The form is administered by the U.S. Dept. of Education.
Chancellor Frank Brogan said that the Board of Governors, which governs the 11 institutions in the State University System of Florida, has consistently ensured that student access to the public institutions is its top priority.
"This proactive outreach and participation in such an important event by our state universities speaks to our combined commitment to increase graduates rates in our universities by ensuring that financial aid and access to resources is there for our incoming and currently enrolled students, and the families supporting them in many cases," Brogan said.
Florida is 10th in the nation for graduation of undergraduate students.
"While I am proud of our significant gains and historical increases, the Board of Governors of the State University System will continue its aggressive efforts to better our numbers and ensure we are maintaining accessibility from all directions. In fact, our voluntary participation in the Access to Success initiative makes us a national leader on this issue," Brogan said.
The State University System of Florida is one of 24 voluntary participants in the Access to Success Initiative, a project of the National Association of System Heads and The Education Trust. These 24 public higher education systems have pledged to cut the college-going and graduation gaps for low-income and minority students in half by 2015. Each Access to Success participating system sets its own path toward improvement targets yet agrees to a common set of metrics to evaluate progress. For more, see www.edtrust.org/issues/higher-education/access-to-success.
The Florida Board of Governors dedicated three hours of its most recent meeting on Jan. 19 to assess and discuss student financial aid issues across the State University System, in an ongoing effort to assist state university practices. The Board of Governors evaluates practices on an ongoing basis that can strengthen financial aid policies assisting students and their families.
"College Goal Sunday Florida" is coordinated by ENLACE Florida in partnership with the National YMCA, Lumina Foundation for Education, USA Funds and the participating State University System host sites.
For more details about the events on Feb. 20 and the other site locations statewide, visit www.collegegoalsundayflorida.org, or contact one of the state university contacts below:
FIU: Sandra Caprioli, Assistant Director, Financial Aid Office, firstname.lastname@example.org,305-348-2342.
FSU: Darryl Marshall, Financial Aid Director, DMarshall@admin.fsu.edu, 850-644-5716.
UCF: Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala, Senior Communications Coordinator, email@example.com, 407-823-6120.
USF: Lara Wade, Manager, Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 813-974-9060.