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Financial Aid and FAFSA/CASFA Completion
About the new PWR, Career, and Education Grant
HB22-1366 establishes “the postsecondary, workforce, career, and education grant program in the department of education (CDE):
- to provide grants to local education providers:
- to improve the training of school educators and administrators;
- to support students and families in developing career and education plans for after high school; and
- to increase the number of students for whom applications for free financial aid are completed.”
Funding requests will be accepted for $1,000 - $10,000 per year ($3,000 - $30,000 over three years), and funds must be spent by June 30, 2025.
Second Round - Application Reopened Dec. 6 (CLOSED Mar. 15)
- December 6, 2022: Grant application reopens
- December - March: Application assistance webinar: recording and slides
- March 15, 2023: Applications DUE
- April, date TBA: Applicants will be notified of award status
First Round - Application closed Nov. 17
- October 18, 2022: Grant application released
- October 24, 2022: Application assistance webinar - access the recording and slides
- November 17, 2022: Applications DUE
- by January 4, 2023: Applicants notified of award status
- the Word document version of the Application, for reference only
- Access your district or school FAFSA completion rate through the Colorado Department of Higher Education website
- Access the budget workbook (to be submitted with application)
Other supports provided by HB22-1366:
- Support from the Department of Higher Education, including $500 stipends to educators who attend training sessions (Link coming soon!)
- An updated Financial Aid Tool Kit (Link coming soon)
- Support for Regional ICAP Facilitators
Education and training that culminates in credentials - such as industry certificates, trade school certificates, apprenticeships, associate degrees, and bachelor's degrees, among other business and industry-based experiences - are necessary to earn a living wage in Colorado. Completion of federal or state financial aid applications supports access to these career pathway options, as they are vehicles to support paying for tuition, fees, equipment, and other expenses associated with additional training beyond high school.
Understanding how to access these career-aligned resources and supports is integral to navigating training and education resources for students and families. Financial literacy education and Colorado's Individual Career and Academic Planning (ICAP) process can help families understand how to obtain federal or state financial aid to support students in pursuing additional education and career training.
Students and families who do not complete financial aid forms do so for one or more of the following reasons:
- They are unaware of the true cost of postsecondary options and are unaccustomed to searching for available resources;
- They have a false belief that grants or scholarships are unavailable based on family resources and income levels;
- Students and families often do not realize they have the required tax information necessary to complete the forms;
- They fear incurring debt for postsecondary education.
Completing federal and state financial aid applications requires support to students and their families, from K-12 college and career readiness programs, and higher education institutions for academic and workforce training.
- When Colorado students access federal dollars to pursue postsecondary education and/or a credential, they increase their earning potential and magnify the impact of state investments in higher education. It is estimated that more than $30 million in federal resources could be leveraged each year by Colorado students completing federal and state financial aid applications.
- In 2024, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be simplified, reducing the number of questions from 100 to 30 and reducing the financial information needed through the federal "FAFSA Simplification Act";
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