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Birmingham mayor asks students to complete their FAFSA

Birmingham City Schools students graduating in May must apply for Birmingham Promise and complete a FAFSA form by March 1.

(STOCK)

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin implored students wishing to participate in the Birmingham Promise tuition assistance program to submit their FAFSA — the Free Application for Federal Student Aid — ahead of the March 1 deadline. 

Birmingham City Schools students graduating in May must apply for Birmingham Promise and complete a FAFSA form by March 1 to be part of the tuition assistance program, according to the mayor’s office. There are no GPA or ACT score requirements to apply for assistance through the program.

“I understand that the pandemic has limited the flow of information for many students and parents but it’s important to know that aid and assistance is available,” Woodfin said at a press conference Thursday. “We cannot let the circumstances of the pandemic dim the bright futures our students deserve.” 

Birmingham Promise executive director Rachel Harmon said that the program will hold virtual FAFSA sessions will take place throughout this month, providing assistance in completing the forms before the March 1 deadline.

“We want to help simplify the filing process for students and their families,” Harmon said. “We encourage parents to attend these sessions. Each session provides one hour with trained staff. That time is an important investment in our students’ futures.” 

Students and parents can sign up for an individual family session can call 205-843-5967 to make an appointment. To complete a FAFSA form, students will need:

  • Social Security Number
  • Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Federal income tax returns, W-2s and other records of money earned
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • An FSA ID to sign electronically

Dependent students will need most of the above information from their parent or parents. Birmingham Promise funds will be awarded after a student has a complete financial aid file and all other public aid is awarded. More information can be found on the Birmingham Promise website

Nationally, nearly 10 percent fewer students in U.S colleges and universities completed their FAFSA forms compared to the previous academic year, according to the National College Attainment Network. Higher-eduction enrollment is also down for recent U.S high school graduates.

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John is a student contributor studying communications and French at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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