In an effort to outreach to the Asian and Pacific Islander community about financial aid opportunities for California Community College students, the “I Can Afford College” campaign invited API media and community groups to attend an informational luncheon on Feb. 17 in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
The campaign is a statewide, financial aid awareness initiative sponsored by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. The objective is to educate current and prospective students that financial aid is available – now and year round at California’s 112 community colleges to help students pay for fees, books, supplies, and sometimes even rent.
Scarlett Liu, financial aid advisor for the City College of San Francisco presented information in Mandarin and was on hand to answer questions attendees had about financial aid opportunities.
California Community Colleges serve more than one million students with financial aid totally approximately $2.2 billion (2009-2010 academic year.) Of the nearly financial aid recipients in the 2009-2010 year, only 10.3 % were Asian, 2.6% were Filipino, and .8% were Pacific Islander.
Students who enroll in college full-time may receive even more financial aid and are more likely to complete their education. There are financial aid experts located on all 112 statewide campuses and they are available to provide free assistance with the applications.
“The goal is to have as many people as possible apply for financial aid, even if they think they might not be eligible,” said Ron Wong, President of Imprenta Communications Group, who organized the luncheon.
Students are encouraged to apply by the March 2 Cal Grant deadline for the 2011/2012 academic year and can do so by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at icanaffordcollege.com.
Students who do not have internet access can call 1-800-ICAN(4226) to get connected with a financial aid office in their area.