Northern Essex Community College Offers Help Completing Federal Student Aid Forms

Haverhill High School. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Northern Essex Community College is working with families through area high schools to help complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.

The college is working with students of Haverhill, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical, Methuen, Greater Lawrence Technical and other high schools to address the decline in student financial aid applications this year. The school said COVID-19 appears to have led to an 18% decrease in applications, particularly from high schools that serve minority and low-income students.

“What’s most concerning about this is that it’s affecting students disproportionately,” said Northern Essex Community College President Lane A. Glenn “My fear is that we are going to lose the students who have the most to benefit from continuing their education.”

The college’s financial aid specialists are offering free information sessions and/or workshops at high schools for families who need help with filling out a FAFSA form.

At Haverhill High School, Northern Essex notes, financial aid form completion rates are remaining steady in general, but sub-groups, such as students with disabilities and student of color, were completing at much lower rates.

“We were concerned about the inequities, and trying to create programming to help families complete the FAFSA,” said Jami Dion, supervisor of school counseling K-12, Haverhill Public Schools.

In partnership with Haverhill High School, Northern Essex will offer a FAFSA Information Session Thursday, Feb. 25, open to all Haverhill families, followed by March 4 and 25 workshops in which help will be offered in completing the FAFSA form.

Northern Essex has similar programs with Greater Lawrence Technical School, Feb. 3 and 10; Lawrence High School, March 2, 9 and 29; and Methuen High School, March 2 and 16; and is working with Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School to schedule programs.

For more information, contact Stark at [email protected].

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