Detroit Regional Chamber Launches Program That Helps Local Students Attend College

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Seeking to increase higher education opportunities in the region, the Detroit Regional Chamber has created Detroit Drives Degrees, a program to connect more high school students with financial aid offerings that will enable them to enroll and stay in college.

According to data from the National College Access Network, high school graduates who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid are 63 percent more likely to enroll in college. Despite the efforts of school counselors and local college access networks last year, experts estimate Michigan students left more than $90 million of federal aid on the table by not filling out the FAFSA.

On Saturday, Detroit Drives Degrees will be hosting an event at Oakland Community College’s Royal Oak campus, in collaboration with financial aid advisors from the University of Michigan and Oakland Community College. Students will be able to seek assistance with their financial aid paperwork, ensuring that they’re completing the FAFSA correctly.

Students can pre-register online for 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. appointments. Both students and parents should bring Social Security number, a driver’s license, 2015 federal tax returns, and bank balances and assets.

This workshop is part of the Race to the FAFSA Line competition, which aims to achieve 60 percent FAFSA completion among high school seniors in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. High schools can register to participate in the challenge, which runs through Feb. 28.

In addition, Emagine Entertainment will award a grand prize of an all-night senior class party and four VIP movie screenings to the winning schools. The Detroit Pistons are providing tickets to counselors and student ambassadors who assist with the competition.

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