Financial Aid Assistance for Florida Students

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Some high school students shy away from college for lack of finances, but now there’s a new push in Florida to make those college-bound aware of the money that's available.

Tallahassee Community College student Ashley Seay recalls a not-so-enjoyable experience applying for financial aid.

"The most help I got was from my friends. There weren't many people, like advisors, that I could go to at the time, " says Seay.

Student Mitch Schroder didn't bother applying. Now he's paying for college mostly out of pocket.

"I always thought if my parents made a lot of money, then I couldn't get financial aid. Paying for college probably would have been easier if I would have applied for financial aid," says Schroder.

A new initiative is underway in Florida called "College Goal Sunday." Florida counties are participating. It's a one day event where financial aid advisors sit down with students and show them what's available and how to apply.

Beverly Sermons with the Florida Department of Education says, "Florida has a growing number of students from diverse backgrounds, and many of the families don't understand that they need to complete this form. In most cases, if they know about the form, they're intimidated about filling out the form."

"We see families who aren't aware that the dollars that are available, and so they stop telling their kids 'you can.' We want to tell them 'yes, you can,’" says William Spiers, the director of financial aid at TCC.

College bound students should contact their guidance counselor for more information on College Goal Sunday, which will be held on February 19.

Participating counties in our viewing area include Gadsden, Hamilton and Jefferson Counties.