SUNY officials visit Yonkers to encourage high schoolers to complete financial aid applications

Last year, New York high schoolers left more than $200 million on the table by not finishing the application.

Jonathan Gordon

May 2, 2024, 12:08 AM

Updated 22 days ago


State University of New York officials visited Yonkers on Wednesday to encourage high school seniors to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form.
Last year, New York high schoolers left more than $200 million on the table by not finishing the application.
"For so many students, FAFSA completion simply makes the difference between going to college or not," SUNY senior vice chancellor for Student Success Donna Linderman said.
Late last year, the FAFSA Simplification Act overhauled the process and made it easier for students to seek out financial aid to attend college. But the initial rollout of the program was met with issues, including technical glitches and concerns over how to answer some questions.
Many students had told education officials Wednesday that other teens their age skipped out on the application because they felt they were too complicated, didn't have the resources to do it or were unaware.
Gorton High School senior Andelina Darcelin said she received support from her counselors and the Yonkers City School District. She was able to complete FAFSA and hopes to receive good news later this spring from Syracuse University.
"Not completing it is a big disadvantage when it comes to college," Darcelin said.
On his first day on the job, Yonkers Superintendent of Schools Anibal Soler Jr., called it the district's obligation to provide every opportunity for its students to reach their higher education goals.
"There's been a lot of talk about access, opportunities and equity and so this is part of that work," Soler Jr. said.
The newly approved state budget expanded access to financial aid. The agreement created universal FAFSA, which requires all high school students to complete a financial aid application or opt out. The idea is more students will apply if their schools are actively helping them through the process.
The state also expanded its Tuition Assistance Program or TAP for the first time in 25 years to increase the minimum award from $500 to $1,000.
The deadline to submit your FAFSA form is June 30, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

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