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Say Yes students learn the college financial aid process

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Say Yes Buffalo scholarship students are still required to navigate through the financial aid process.  In this Focus on Education report WBFO's Eileen Buckley says Buffalo Public School students heading to college this fall are still filling out federal and state financial aid applications.

"Kids that don't have family support or older siblings or parents who have been through the process -- it can be really daunting," said Allison Newman, scholarship director for Say Yes Buffalo.   

Students are still need to fill out Pell and State TAP grants.

"Students who are low income and eligible for the maximum federal Pell grant an the maximum New York State TAP grant can get almost $11,000 a year in free money, and a lot of them don't know those opportunities exist," said Newman.   

Credit WBFO News file photo
Say Yes banner.

Newman oversees the entire scholarship program -- ready to answer questions from students and parents on the financial process.

"It's complicated. It's a real barrier for a lot of students," said Newman. "It's a whole new world for a lot of students."

Say Yes is also receiving help from UB's graduate school of Education.  A professor has implemented a process offering volunteers to help students navigate through filling out those federal FAFSA applications  

"Studies have shown that FAFSA completion is one of the huge indicators of who's going to go on to matriculate to college," noted Newman.  

Students are also finding out that some private collages require College Scholarship Service Financial Aid Profile.