In honor of February as Financial Aid Awareness Month, LEAP Tampa Bay is excited to bring attention to a program started a few years ago, where LEAP and local colleges and school district partners offer incentives to high school seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. To date, more than $130,000 have been offered by the schools! This year, 26 scholarships totaling $37,000 is available via scholarship drawings to seniors in each of three districts – Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco County schools – and now four colleges are participating: Hillsborough Community College, St. Petersburg College, Pasco Hernando State College and the University of Tampa.
Scholarships offered vary in each district and students should see their school counselors for how to enter after they have completed their FAFSA form. Students who have completed their form already, as well as those who complete it before their district’s deadline are eligible for the drawing. Students must attend the school awarding the scholarship in order to receive the award.
“Students who complete a FAFSA form are much more likely to enroll in an education or training program after high school,” said Chuck Tiernan, Director of LEAP Tampa Bay’s network. “Often, just completing the form shows the student that there is help available for the financial side of attending school, which makes it feel more doable for them. Our partner districts and institutions are creatively working together to give students one more reason to fill out FAFSA and see the possibilities.”
Financial Aid Awareness Month is an effort to provide crucial information to students and families about access to federal, state and institutional student aid. For more information on the FAFSA, please visit the LEAP resources page for more information.