Cash for College Workshop Hosted Feb. 4 in Fresno

Workshop Arms Students and Parents with Information to Access Financial Aid

MERCED, CA— For college-bound students, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a master key that unlocks the doors to valuable resources of financial support.

To help students and their parents learn more about available forms of financial aid and provide step-by-step assistance with the FAFSA application, UC Merced will host a free Cash for College workshop from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, February 4 at the UC Merced Fresno Center, 550 East Shaw Avenue. Bilingual assistance will be available.

A multitude of financial resources are available to make a college education affordable for all students, however, too few Central Valley students are taking advantage of these opportunities. According to recent statistics from the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium (CVHEC), only 28 percent of students in the region who qualify for Cal Grants even submit an application.

The Fresno workshop is one in a series of workshops that will be presented throughout the Valley as part of California Cash for College, a statewide campaign sponsored by the California Student Aid Commission to increase the accessibility and affordability of higher education for all students. Promoted regionally by CVHEC, the campaign is presented in partnership with community volunteers, organizations and educational institutions, including the University of California.

Cash for College workshops are designed to help students successfully complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Grade Point Average Verification Form. Both forms are required for students to apply for Cal Grants and most other types of financial aid.

California's deadline to submit the FAFSA and Cal Grant GPA Verification Form for the 2006-07 academic year is March 2, 2006.

Students and their parents are encouraged to attend the workshops. Those attending should bring their 2005 federal income tax return or W-2 forms; other records of income for 2005; records of investments and back accounts; driver's license and social security card. Non-United States citizens should bring their alien registration card. In addition, students are encouraged to bring a list of the colleges they are interested in attending.

For more information about the February 4 workshop in Fresno or to obtain information about other Cash for College workshops planned in the Central Valley, please contact Belinda Garcia in the UC Merced Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at (209) 724-4384 or by e-mail at finaid@ucmerced.edu. To learn more about financial aid services and resources at UC Merced, please visit our Financial AidWebsite.

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