Students across Indiana enroll for federal aid on College Goal Sunday

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In 2017 the Indiana Commission for Higher Education found just 34.5% of the students enrolled in two- and four-year college and university programs in the state graduated on time.

The four-year university on-time graduation rate was just over 50% while students at Indiana’s two-year schools, Ivy Tech and Vincennes University, were leaving on time in just 10% of the cases.

Those partial educations result in outstanding student loans with no diplomas.

The Federal Reserve found that 53% of young adult college students leave campus with loans that average out at $32,731, and 19% of those young people are destined to default on their payments.

At 40 locations across Indiana Sunday students and parents visited high schools and colleges to participate in College Goal Sunday and received assistance in filling out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.

“It’s an application students can complete if they’re interested in receiving federal and state grants scholarships and loans,” said Arlonda Dickerson, a FAFSA advisor at Ivy Tech’s Indianapolis campus. “Over 90% can be eligible for some type of assistance.”

Dickerson said once the application has been filed, colleges and universities can reach out to the student with financial aid options.

“You list the colleges that you would like to attend and then the colleges get a snapshot of your FAFSA and then they will send you a financial plan with the school telling you how much school will cost, how much you’re eligible for and any federal and state grants and the option of taking out a loan.”

Solomon Oyekea transferred from Alabama to Ivy Tech to study Information Technology and paid for the first semester out of this pocket.

“I’m an African and I believe going to college will help me achieve my goal and I’m really putting on my best, working hard so I can graduate and get the best job and be the type of person I want to be,” said Oyekea. “I’m gonna pay mine. I don’t mind if it’s going to take my five or four years to pay, I’ll just make sure I’ll get it paid because they help me and I definitely have to get it paid.”

The FAFSA deadline is April 15 with advisors at high schools and college available to assist applicants in person.

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