"We wanted to make sure that parents and students have information and are able to get that info right in their neighborhood," said Mayor Lovely Warren, D-Rochester, at a news conference Thursday morning.
That information will be part of the city's first March College Madness. In two upcoming sessions, representatives from our area colleges will help parents and students understand and navigate the often complicated financial aid process.
Studies show that parents, particularly low income and minority parents, overestimate the cost of college or have the wrong information for actual college costs, and three out of four parents with incomes under $25,000 cannot identify financial aid sources.
"If you have a family where no one's ever gone to college, no one's ever applied to college, maybe you don't even know anyone who's ever gone to college, it can also be an incredibly intimidating process," said MCC president Dr. Anne Kress. "One of the benefits of March College Madness is going into the community, having experts in financial aid sit down with families, give them workshops and give them individualized attention in filling out t hose forms."
The University of Rochester will be at the event. At somewhere between $50,000-$60,000 a year for tuition and room and board, many students feel the school is not an affordable option. Leaders say that's not true.
"I was one of those students. I come from New York City. I'm from an inner city, single-parent home, first generation to be able to attend college," said University of Rochester financial aid counselor Hysha Robinson Nesmith. "If you have the academics, and doesn't have to be the highest score and you don't have to be the valedictorian, but if you're involved in other activities and you are putting the effort forward, then you can be successful in college and it is accessible for many students who don't believe that they are through achievement, through seeking out programs and through filling out the application first and foremost."
March College Madness
The first session is March 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gantt Community Center, Flint Street Community Center and Rundel Memorial Library on South Avenue.
The second session is March 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Ave Community Center, Edgerton Community Center and again at the Rundel Memorial Library.