By Carrie Fethe
on September 15, 2022
New website provides California school counselors and staff with customizable resources to implement financial aid application completion legislation
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A new website, Financial Aid for All, launches today to provide California school districts with resources to improve financial aid awareness and application completion. Developed by the California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI), the California Student Aid Commission, uAspire, and WestEd, FA4ALLCA.org gives school counselors customized toolkits and action plans to support their students to complete the FAFSA and California Dream Act Application.
Beginning this academic year, California high schools are required to participate in the implementation of AB 469. AB 469 requires that local education agencies ensure all 12th-grade students complete a financial aid application. “Financial Aid for All is designed to take the guesswork out of AB 469 implementation for those working directly with students and families,” said uAspire CEO Jaclyn Piñero.
Based on users’ responses to questions about their current approach and school culture to promote financial aid application completion, FA4ALLCA.org identifies areas for growth, so school leaders and counselors know what to focus on and where to start. Counselors can immediately begin using their curated collection of resources, from essential data dashboards to school-wide communication templates to student-facing tools.
“This legislation is an important opportunity to maximize the number of California students who apply for and receive federal and state financial aid, but we know firsthand that more effective resources and support are necessary to further equip counselors to assist students and families, and prepare school leaders to coordinate efforts across their school, district, and community,” said uAspire CEO Jaclyn Piñero.
Aligned with Education Trust–West’s best practices framework to increase access to financial aid, the website focuses on schools’ ability to prioritize completion, monitor data, establish partnerships, build relationships and trust, and provide student-centered programming.
“The goal is to empower school staff as well as students and families with effective tools that are easy to use,” explained Tessa Carmen De Roy, president of CCGI. “We’re aiming to alleviate the burden on overwhelmed counselors by helping them map out a strategy, engage partners to bolster their capacity, and prioritize the needs of students from lower-income communities, students of color, and undocumented or nonresident students who are most likely to face structural barriers to completing their financial aid applications.”
Explore the new website made possible by funding from College Futures Foundation at FA4ALLCA.org.
CaliforniaColleges.edu is the State of California’s official college and career planning platform managed by the nonprofit California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI). CCGI partners with school districts to smooth student paths to college and career and is funded in part by the State of California as part of the Cradle-to-Career System.
uAspire is a national nonprofit ensuring that all young people have the financial information and resources to find an affordable path to and through college. We work to remove financial barriers to higher education in California through student advising, counselor training, and policy and systems change.