Ensuring High Schoolers Have a Plan for What's Next Focus of Annual Workshop

Posted on October 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

While it may seem as though school has just begun, high school seniors’ attention has already turned to what’s next after high school. The All Hands Raised Partnership is focused on supporting our schools as they work to strengthen these paths for their students regardless of whether than plan includes college or career training. Simply having a plan (and the support to execute that plan) makes a difference.

An important step in ensuring the plan is actionable includes filling out critical financial aid forms known as FAFSA and ORSAA. Since 2015 the Partnership has focused on this key gateway to post-secondary access, and yesterday (10/3/18) All Hands Raised convened more than 60 counselors, administrators and community partners from seven partner school districts for its annual FAFSA/ORSAA kick-off. The purpose of this workshop is to spread insights, knowledge and tools with the goal of increasing completion of FAFSA and ORSAA forms.

Parkrose School District Superintendent Michael Lopes-Serrao opened the meeting with both affirmation of the work that’s been done and a call to action: “In the Parkrose School District we have found–particularly with the work around FAFSA–that All Hands Raised has helped us tremendously, and we’ve seen our [FAFSA completion] rates increase. Take the great examples from schools like Franklin, Centennial and Gresham. Listening to those strategies has really helped us as a district. Thank you, All Hands Raised, for continuing to raise the spirit of the effort to show our kids that they deserve the best. They should be the ones to choose where they go in life, and I think this is just a really important tool.”

This community has come together in new ways over the last three years to ensure more local students are able to “choose where they go in life.”  FAFSA completion rates by Multnomah County high school seniors are up 13 percentage points over the past five years. Click here to learn more about this work. Learn more about ORSAA, a financial aid program for undocumented students in Oregon here; and FAFSA and other student aid here.

Thanks to workshop presenters from PPS Franklin High SchoolParkrose School DistrictMultnomah ESDPortland Community CollegeThe College Place OregonOSAC and to all who joined together to share knowledge and strategies to access FAFSA and ORSAA financial aid opportunities.