FAFSA Assistance Program
Several Northeast Indiana organizations are partnering with the Regional Partnership’s Big Goal Collaborative to offer free support to students and families in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The free FAFSA support will be offered from 4 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 and 23 and March 1 and 9 at the Fort Wayne Community School’s Career Academy at Anthis, 1200 S. Barr St., in Fort Wayne. Programs will also be offered in DeKalb County on Thursdays from February 11 to March 3 at local public libraries in Waterloo, Butler, Garrett and Eckhart. To learn more about the FAFSA assistance program, contact Ryan Twiss. Want to make sure you have all the information you need, be sure to consult this helpful article on how to avoid FAFSA mistakes
For more information on the FAFSA assistance program, view this flier available in English, Spanish or Burmese.
FAFSA Completion Competition for regional high schools
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s Big Goal Collaborative is partnering with NIPSCO to launch a regional FAFSA Completion Competition for regional high schools. The competition runs through March 10.
The goal of the competition is to increase the amount of high school students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filling out the FAFSA, a government form that streamlines the college financial aid process, is a must to qualify for assistance and reduce student loan burden.
Three winning high schools will each be given a $1,500 scholarship to award to a graduating senior. There are three categories to win:
• Greatest overall growth – the school that experiences the highest growth in FAFSA submissions over the previous year.
• Growth of 5 percent or more – all schools that experience 5 percent or more growth over the previous year will be entered in a drawing for the scholarship.
• Completion rate of 75 percent or more - all schools that have a FAFSA completion rate of 75 percent or more will be entered in a drawing for the scholarship.
Schools that satisfy more than one will be entered into the category that gives them the best chance of winning. Winners will be announced mid-April.
The Big Goal is one of seven priorities identified by Vision 2020. It aims to increase the percentage of Northeast Indiana residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60 percent by 2025. For more information, contact Ryan Twiss.
Snapshot of Education
Download the 2015 Big Goal Collaborative Snapshot on Education.
Why 60 percent?
Increasing educational attainment has the potential to increase wages, raise overall economic wealth, meet the needs of existing businesses, enable them to grow and create more jobs, and attract new businesses.Increasing educational attainment has the potential to increase wages, raise overall economic wealth, meet the needs of existing businesses, enable them to grow and create more jobs, and attract new businesses.
How will that be accomplished? The Big Goal Collaborative focuses on education as a lifelong progression from cradle to career. Approaching education as a continuum ensures that all stages are being addressed and success can be monitored at all levels. Educational objectives at each step on the continuum work toward achieving the Big Goal.
Click on the image below to download the Big Goal Collaborative infographic
The Big Goal Collaborative
The Big Goal Collaborative is a group of regional educators, community partners, businesses, civic leaders, and other people passionate about educational attainment. They are giving their time to create system-wide change in education in Northeast Indiana. Educational Leadership Council
- The leadership body that provides regional oversight and strategic direction, facilitates dialogue, contributes financial and/or social capital, and acts a champion and resource for the entire cradle-to-career continuum.
Northeast Indiana's Cradle-to-Career Continuum
- Uses five stages, with a specific objective for each stage.
- Early Childhood Learning - Objective: Increase academic and developmental readiness of students entering Kindergarten.
- K-8 - Objective: Increase the percentage of students passing third-grade reading assessments, third-grade math achievement and eighth-grade combined language arts and math.
- High School Completion - Objective: Raise the graduation rate in Northeast Indiana to more than 90%.
- Technical Education (EWIN) - Objective: In partnership with Northeast Indiana Works and in alignment with the statewide Education Workforce Innovation Network (EWIN) effort, increase the capacity and effectiveness of the region's technical education system for both high school students and adult learners.
- Postsecondary Completion - Objective: Increase retention and completion rates at the region's higher education institutions.
– Work with schools and community partners to achieve specific educational outcomes as identified by the Change Networks.
Learn more about these groups in the Big Goal Collaborative Guide
and stay up to date on progress being made
How you can help
- Businesses: Adopt the Big Goal in your company, encourage employees to get certifications and degrees to further their careers, provide resources to help them meet their educational goals.
- Educators: Work with area businesses and community organizations to expand resources for students and provide exposure to college and career opportunities. Made By Me is one resource that showcases career opportunities in Northeast Indiana's advanced manufacturing industry.
- Non-profits: Work together to implement best practices that impact outcomes identified by the Big Goal Collaborative.
- Faith-based Organizations: Supply mentors to tutoring programs or carpooling services for after-school programs, champion educational attainment in your own organization or congregation.
- Funders: Encourage collaboration and align funding strategies with the Big Goal.
- Families: Make education a priority in your home, read to your children and help with homework.
- Civic Leaders: Consider educational impact in decision-making and support policies that will enable us to achieve the Big Goal.
To read more about all of Vision 2020's priorities, visit the Initiatives in Progress
For more information about the Big Goal Collaborative, email us