A group of IUPUI students helped local families prepare for college.
On October 28, students and families across Indiana received free FAFSA filing help from financial aid experts during the 30th annual College Goal SundaySM presented by Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA). George Washington Community High School (GWCHS) served as one of eight Indianapolis College Goal Sunday sites in partnership with IUPUI.
Eight IUPUI Fugate Scholars were there to help families in a variety of ways, including welcoming families to the event, providing Spanish translation, and providing assistance with completing the FAFSA online.
By the end of the event, 11 families completed their financial aid paperwork with assistance from the IUPUI Fugate Scholars.
“This increases the student’s chances of receiving financial support for college and, thus helps to motivate them to finish their last year of high school and continue to plan for their future,” said Cindy Gil, IUPUI representative.
“College Goal SundaySM provides an opportunity for high school students and families to receive one-on-one help with FAFSA completion, which is so important for a student’s future college plans,” Cindy said. “We know that most students will rely on federal and/or state grants in order to pay their college fees, so it is important that students complete and submit their FAFSA correctly and in a timely manner.”
This year’s event is one of many ways that IUPUI’s Fugate scholars work with local communities.
The IUPUI Fugate Scholarship began in October 2006 in honor of the late Daniel Fugate, a Near West community and public school advocate, as part of a larger Learning Communities Initiative at GWCHS. IUPUI Fugate scholars are undergraduate or graduate students who are passionate about serving the community, and have previous service experience with youth and youth-serving organizations.
Fugate Scholars commit to serve as a student leader on campus and in the Indianapolis community and implement various college preparatory curricula to students in grades 5–12 at GWCHS and neighboring elementary schools on the Near West and West side of Indianapolis.
“The Fugate program at IUPUI strives to promote student growth and increase opportunities for students in higher education, employment, and enlistment than what might be offered in the traditional classroom setting,” said Kevin Sanders, IUPUI student, education major and Fugate Scholar. “As a Fugate scholar, I am able to develop meaningful relationships with students, schools, and the community to sustain and enhance professional skills students already have when walking into the classroom.”
By giving their time and talents to the community, Fugate Scholars are active contributors in improving the quality of life of residents.
“These past efforts during College Goal Sunday helped several dozen students and families have access to federal funding for post-secondary education by completing the FAFSA, and I cannot be more grateful for such a wonderful program,” Kevin said.
This is just one of many activities that Fugate Scholars participate in. They also participate in fundraising events that help fund scholarships for GWCHS students, such as the annual Taste of the Westside event, hosted each spring by the GWCHS Dollars for Scholars program. The community gathers for an evening of tasting and socialization, with food samplings from restaurants and businesses from the community in hopes that visitors will want to visit those sponsors for a full portion later.
GWCHS Dollars for Scholars is part of a national network of nearly 1,000 local, grassroots chapters providing scholarships in their communities. Since 2006, this program has supported the graduates of GWCHS through the engagement of the local Westside Indianapolis community and partners from throughout central Indiana.
Students selected as Fugate Scholars benefit from their service by developing their leadership skills and participating in monthly trainings that prepare them to become Civic Minded Graduates. They are required to attend monthly training sessions, and serve 6 hours per week at their assigned school during the school year. This service can be fulfilled in ways such as college prep activities during the school day to various classrooms, or by serving as tutors or college student role models at their sites.
For more information about the IUPUI Fugate Scholarship and how to apply, visit https://csl.iupui.edu/programs/scholarships/fugate.html.
The next College Goal SundaySM event will take place on February 24, 2019 at locations across Indiana from 2-4 p.m. Students and families will once again have an opportunity to receive free FAFSA filing help from financial aid experts. The FAFSA form must be turned in on or before April 15 to be considered “on-time” for Indiana state grant funding. For more information about College Goal SundaySM, visit the website. Para informacion en español.