Make a Year End Gift
December 30, 2016
BENEFITING: WEST CONTRA COSTA PUBLIC EDUCATION FUND
Luis didn’t think that he could afford to go to college.
He had studied hard all through school and excelled in his classes at El Cerrito High School.
But his parents both worked multiple jobs just to make ends meet. He often didn’t see his dad for weeks on end as he would get up to go to work while the family was still asleep and returned late at night.
You can imagine, then, how torn Luis felt when he was accepted to UC Berkeley. On the one hand, he was ecstatic and his family was so proud of him! But, at the same time, they didn’t have the means to pay for his college education and it seemed like an impossible dream.
Like most of our students in West Contra Costa County, Luis is a first generation college student. His parents had never attended college. They were at a loss on how to help their son navigate through the college and financial aid application process.
Luckily, Luis and his parents attended a free Cash for College workshop hosted by the Ed Fund to get assistance in completing his FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid). He received a full ride to UC Berkeley through scholarships and grants. Today, he is studying Nutrition and is planning to go to medical school.
Now he wants to come back to this community so that he can be a role model for his siblings and cousins and show them that they can go to college too.
Last year, more than $2.7 billion in financial aid went unclaimed. If they apply, students from low-income households have a 92% chance of getting some kind offinancial aid, which never has to be paid back. Like Luis, most students don’t understand state and federal financial aid or think they’ll get any.
Too many of our students think that they have to have all of their ducks in a row before they can apply for financial aid. They’re uncertain of where they’re going to go to college and what they’ll study or even if college is the right fit for them. By the time they’ve figured this all out, the deadline has passed and they are no longer eligible for financial aid.
As someone who understands the value of education, you know how important it is to educate our students and their families about financial aid so that they don’t miss out and can take full advantage of the opportunity to pay for their college education.
Your support will help to increase the percentage of students in West Contra Costa County who will complete their financial aid applications. We are so grateful to you for helping more of our students achieve their dream of going to college.
Your gift is extremely important because it offers every West County child the same opportunities to go to college and graduate from high school prepared for college, career, and life.
Your gift of $100 will help make a dramatic impact on a student's ability to go to college. Please send your gift today. Our students are counting on your support.
We really appreciate your generous support during this critical financial aid season.
Joel Mackey Executive Director
P.S. Please make your donation today to ensure that students, like Luis, can afford to go to college.