To increase the number of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the Dayton Metro Library is partnering with Learn to Earn Dayton and the Trotwood-Madison and West Carrollton School Districts to sponsor FAFSA Finish! Nights at two nearby Libraries.
The Trotwood and West Carrollton Branch Libraries will each host two FAFSA Finish! events on Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Dayton Metro Library competed for and received a generous grant from the State Library of Ohio to support this initiative.
Volunteers will be on hand at each event to help complete income tax forms for students' families. The Libraries will be closed to the general public during these events.
"Much of the information needed for the FAFSA – an all-important form that is required to receive financial aid – is included on tax forms. For many people, completing both forms at the same time, with the guidance of tax professionals, will be a huge time-saver," said Diane Farrell, Director of External Relations for the Library.
At this point, the pilot project is available only to students within the Trotwood-Madison and West Carrollton School Districts. Students must register through their guidance offices to participate. The Library hopes to expand the project in 2016.
POST-SECONDARY CENTERS FOR SUCCESS
"This is one small part of the Library's efforts to help young people in Montgomery County discover that college, or some form of credentialing, is affordable and within their reach," said Farrell. Beyond the FAFSA Finish! events, the Library is planning dedicated spaces where high school students can learn about and prepare for life after high school. These spaces will provide families with information and assistance with career planning, job and technical certification processes, college applications, and financial aid.
"In addition to special programs, we're enhancing our Collection to address questions young people may have about college and career choices. Our teen librarians will plan scavenger hunts and other fun activities to help students become familiar with the Library and our resources for college and beyond. Special Library Cards will be offered to all participating students, and there's even a chance to win prizes," Farrell said.
"Helping youth succeed is part of our mission," said Executive Director Tim Kambitsch. "By partnering with high schools, colleges, Learn to Earn Dayton, community businesses and nonprofits, the Library plays an important role in guiding students successfully through the transition beyond high school, and this in turn creates a stronger community."