Florida College Access Network (FCAN), a state-level partner to Future Ready Collier, has launched its Cash for College initiative. The program encourages anyone thinking about post-high school education to finish their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA is the most direct and inclusive way for postsecondary students to apply for and receive funding for school. This includes federal financial aid as well as consideration for other scholarships and grants.
A special contribution from the FutureMakers Coalition with Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) to the Fort Myers News-Press wants students on track to finish their associate’s degree that they may already have earned that credential. As students transfer from FSW to FGCU to pursue a bachelor’s degree, they may think any progress towards an AA is left behind. These schools want you to know, that’s not the case.
State, regional, and local initiatives share information about the value of pursuing post-high school education or training. Data show that newer jobs demand higher levels of training and education. Systemic challenges like COVID-19 make existing strains more evident. A well-educated workforce connects to a robust economy, and workers benefit throughout their careers. Many partners come together to help with preparing our Florida workforce.
A primary interest of Future Ready Collier is helping all young people graduate from high school with a plan for their future. Whatever your expectations or hopes, it’s smart to be sure you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early in your senior year as possible. Filling out the FAFSA gives you the greatest flexibility in getting and using financial aid and scholarships for any sort of post-high school education and training. Read more to register for free virtual FAFSA information sessions held in November and December.
On October 7, Future Ready Collier hosts a virtual community conversation with the Florida College Access Network (FCAN) about their Talent Strong Florida initiative. Talent Strong Florida joins stakeholders in education and the business community to bring attention to the value of post-high school training. FCAN’s recently welcomed executive director and their assistant director for network partnerships will participate in the conversation.
In any other year, August’s arrival means students and parents start to eagerly gear up for the school year ahead. As the onset of the 2020-2021 school year looms, however, many are wondering how best to navigate a world still dominated by COVID-19. This uncertainty applies as much to early childhood learning as to post-secondary schools. Future Ready Collier is keeping an eye on school reopening plans and safety precautions being adopted.
A survey conducted in May 2020 by the Florida College Access Network begins to reveal some of the effects of COVID-19 on workforce and higher education. Most immediately relevant to Future Ready Collier, the pandemic is negatively impacting students’ post-high school plans. The data indicate that students already pursuing postsecondary education of some kind, and current or graduating high school students exploring their next steps, are being affected.
When Future Ready Collier was formalized, it was as a strategic offshoot of the Greater Naples Chamber’s Opportunity Naples initiative. This effort identified a need to assign resources to support students throughout their primary education. In the intervening years, the Chamber has retained a meaningful role in Future Ready Collier. Specifically, helping to steer conversations about work-based learning and facilitating transitions from school to career. Meaningfully, the Chamber’s board approved establishing a full-time staff position dedicated to exploring relevant partnerships with employers, and upholding schools in their efforts to deliver new meaningful work-related experiences for students.
A high level of uncertainty is unsettling, but doesn’t mean there aren’t options. High school seniors, especially, are wondering what’s next. There are questions like, what if I can’t attend college out-of-state next year, and what if my family’s finances have changed since I applied? For juniors, there are concerns about standardized testing, and what post-high school plan makes the most sense. There are resources available to help students and their families navigate each of these important topics.
This video tutorial helps walk high school students and their families through the step-by-step process of completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. Each year, FAFSA applications open on October 1. Students are encouraged to submit as soon as possible for the greatest access to available financial aid and scholarships. Students and their families may view this free, online tutorial as many times as needed.