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County counselors work with Gainesville Chamber to increase FAFSA apps

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Spring is here and now that spring break is over it's time for some high school seniors to get to work. The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Alachua County Public Schools to jump-start the college process. This year county schools joined a statewide FAFSA challenge to boost the number of seniors completing financial aid applications.

So far this year counselors across the county have increased their numbers by eight percents placing them in the top 10 Florida school districts with the most increase. Jennifer Taylor, Alachua County Schools supervisor of guidance says since aid was available in October this year they have had more months to work with families and encourage them to complete their applications.

Dug Jones with Santa Fe College says today higher education is increasingly important, "whether it's a two-year degree, four-year degree or technical certificate."

Taylor added many families do not apply for financial aid because they feel they will not qualify "We want for all students who want to go to college to know that can and that their not limited for financial reasons."

Ian Fletcher with the Gainesville Chamber says more and more kids have the opportunity to receive funding. At least 100 million dollars was left on the table last year and "they are trying to put that money in kids pockets."

Florida College Access Network is estimating a significant increase compared to last year.

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