The FAFSA is the key to receiving aid for college and yet completing the form remains a complex process that can frustrate students and families. With $3.75 billion in unclaimed Pell Grants last year alone, this is a significant barrier to attendance and completion. 3E & College Now Greater Cleveland have partnered to tackle this by hosting a free How-To workshop in the metaverse, providing accessible and interactive guidance and support for families as they undertake the process.
3 Enrollment Marketing, Inc. (3E), a national leader in modern, agile enrollment marketing solutions, and College Now Greater Cleveland, a non-profit provider of college and financial aid guidance and support, are bringing support to students, where they are, by sponsoring a free FAFSA How-To workshop in the metaverse.
According to the National College Attainment Network (NCAN), by the end of the last school year five percent fewer students submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the form that all colleges and universities use to determine aid eligibility, than the year prior. 3E and College Now Greater Cleveland have teamed to change that trend.
Students and their families can struggle with misconceptions and complexities inherent to the FAFSA process. Even more, the resources available to overcome these barriers have become scarcer as counseling staff remains stretched and COVID disruptions caused a greater shift to remote learning. Complex processes, misperceptions regarding eligibility, and fewer support resources are driving innovation in how colleges and families can work together to solve financial aid issues.
Described by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, as “the next chapter for the internet,” the metaverse presents new opportunities for higher ed to better engage students and their families at all stages of the college search journey. For Zuckerberg, the focus is “…on building technology so people can interact with each other,” rather than focusing on how people interact with technology. Applied to the higher education realm, this innovation can carry distinct advantages that can help increase FAFSA completion rates while bolstering college attendance and completion.
3E’s Senior Vice President of Product Strategy, Nicole Focareto, is optimistic about how the metaverse can improve student experiences and outcomes: “3E’s mission is rooted in building a path for more people to pursue higher education, and financial aid is critical to making that possible. The metaverse presents an immense opportunity to democratize access to high-quality resources before, during, and after enrollment—bringing support to students on their terms, in a space they already are.”
College Now Greater Cleveland has been providing students support and guidance in their own mission to help students prepare for and graduate from college. This metaverse extends College Now’s commitment and helps scale their assistance abilities. “This event will help College Now reach more students with our expertise in FAFSA, financial aid, and enrollment assistance,” said Lee Friedman, College Now CEO. “We know that the FAFSA is often a huge hurdle for students to overcome when thinking about postsecondary education, but that it is one of the most important forms they can complete to be eligible for federal, state, and institutional aid and, in turn, make postsecondary education a more affordable venture. We are pleased to be partnering with 3E on this event to continue supporting students with this challenging but extremely vital part of the college-going process.”
The free FAFSA How-To Workshop, held on March 23, 2022, from 8-9:30 pm ET, begins with a 30-minute FAFSA overview, followed by one-on-one assistance and an interactive session with counselors and staff. The goal is to ensure that families and aspiring students have a better understanding of financial aid offerings and the knowledge and resources to complete their FAFSA application process.
Online access is the only requirement for this metaverse workshop: participants can enter the 3D virtual space with a computer, mobile device, or VR headset.
Registration is required and space is limited. For more details on the workshop, go to: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/3enrollmentmarketinginc/661511
College Now provides Greater Cleveland students with guidance and access to funds to prepare for and graduate from college. For more than 50 years, our goal has been to help students pursue educational opportunities that empower them to embark on rewarding careers and strengthen our community. College Now assists more than 30,000 students each year, delivering college and career access advising, financial aid counseling, and scholarship and retention services in Greater Cleveland schools, in the College Now Resource Center and through community-based programs.