The Star, Monday, February 24, 2014
AUBURN — The third annual DeKalb County Career Development Expo will offer help in filling out financial aid forms for college and career training.
The Expo will take place Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, 1600 Wayne St., Auburn. Admission is free and open to the public.
Information about education and training beyond high school will be available, and local employers will bring information about their open positions. Organizers are encouraging people attending to “dress to impress and bring plenty of resumes.”
Hosts for the event area WorkOne Northeast, DeKalb Chamber Partnership, DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership, Freedom Academy and Learning Link DeKalb County.
Glenda Ervins, 21st Century Scholars coordinator, will offering free assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For people who wish to fill out the FAFSA at the event, a list of materials they need to bring may be found online at dekalbcareers.com.
“The event has something to offer everyone,” said Judy Sorg, director of Learning Link DeKalb County, the community foundation’s education initiative. “The human resources panel, along with the resume writing and interviewing workshops, makes this event informative and practical when considering your future.”
Organizers said the FAFSA could be the answer to paying for more job training,
In 2012, more than $236 billion in financial aid was awarded to career school, undergraduate and graduate students. Federal grants, loans, and work-study programs are all awarded through FAFSA for anyone enrolled in eligible degree or certificate programs.
There is no age limit for filing the FAFSA, which is not limited to recent high school graduates. It can be completed online at FAFSA.ed.gov with information about family income, the type of aid desired and the student’s intended educational path.
Many universities and career programs have students complete the FAFSA as a requirement to apply for enrollment as well as for scholarships from their institutions.
“Most importantly, the FAFSA offers everyone, regardless of age, a chance to qualify for state and federal aid” said Ervins, who is also a steering team member of DeKalb County’s Career Success Coalition.
In 2011, independent students over the age of 24 accounted for over half of all Federal Pell Grants awarded. Pell Grants do not have to be repaid. Dependent students also have a chance at these grants, which are based on financial need, cost of attendance, and student status.
Federal loans are the most popular source of student aid. They make up roughly 38 percent of all financial aid for students and differ from Pell Grants because they must be repaid. However, depending on the type of loan, a student may or may not have to pay the interest, which makes the loans more attractive in the long term.
In addition to Pell Grants and federal loans, many other forms of aid include as work-study, state grants, institutional grants and more. Information on all types of aid may be found online at studentaid.ed.gov or by contacting any local financial aid office.
For more information about the expo, contact Sorg at the Community Foundation of DeKalb County, 925-0311, or Shannon Carpenter at the DeKalb Chamber Partnership, 925-2100.