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Ohio Wants More Students To Apply For Federal Student Aid

Cristina Spano for NPR
Cristina Spano for NPR

Ohio’s education leaders have announced more funding to help young people who want to pursue higher education. The new effort is an attempt to combat the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the number of students applying for college aid.

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is how students, their families and colleges determine eligibility for student financial aid.

The number of FAFSA applicants dropped off significantly during the pandemic.

Randy Gardner is chancellor at the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). He wants potential college students to know that college is more affordable than many people think.

“There is support, there are scholarships," he says. "There's federal and state need based aid. Fill out the FAFSA and give it a shot because we do know that with with higher education attainment comes higher wages, comes lower unemployment and comes a better health care outcomes."

Gardner adds that those outcomes benefit all Ohioans.

Earlier this year the state granted $966,772 to organizations working to boost the number of students who fill out the FAFSA. Learn to Earn in Dayton and the Montgomery County Educational Service Center are two of the local organizations taking part in the effort.

The program will grant an additional $1.8 million in the coming year.

Jerry began volunteering at WYSO in 1991 and hosting Sunday night's Alpha Rhythms in 1992. He joined the YSO staff in 2007 as Morning Edition Host, then All Things Considered. He's hosted Sunday morning's WYSO Weekend since 2008 and produced several radio dramas and specials . In 2009 Jerry received the Best Feature award from Public Radio News Directors Inc., and was named the 2023 winner of the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Best Anchor/News Host award. His current, heart-felt projects include the occasional series Bulletin Board Diaries, which focuses on local, old-school advertisers and small business owners. He has also returned as the co-host Alpha Rhythms.