Graduate NWA will put on two financial aid workshops as the program continues to reach out to adults interested in returning to school to complete their education.
The workshops will be from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 27 in Burns Hall at NorthWest Arkansas Community College campus in Bentonville and in the Baldor Technology Center at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith.
“This workshop is a great opportunity for adults to learn about financial aid and receive help applying for it,” said Penny Pendleton, UAFS dean for students services. “While high schools provide counseling and guidance to their students planning to go to college, there are fewer resources for adults wanting to attend college for the first time or who are returning to school to complete their degree. UAFS and the other Graduate NWA partners want to help adults return to school and complete their education. It is truly in the best interest of the student, their families, and our community to help these adults achieve their degree.”
Volunteers at the workshops will help attendees fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and answer individual questions about how to pay for a college degree.
Three financial aid workshops were held April 2 on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, at Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale, and on the Rogers campus of John Brown University.
People who attend one of this month’s five financial aid workshops can enter a drawing to receive one of the 10, $500 in tuition reimbursement scholarships being given away by Graduate NWA. A similar tuition reimbursement program that was part of last fall’s Come Back to College Fair has helped 10 students who enrolled this semester at Northwest Arkansas colleges. Another 10 scholarships given away at that event are expected to be disbursed in the fall.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more than 70,000 people living in Benton, Sebastian and Washington counties have some college credit but no college degree, and the workshops will target those individuals, said Stacey Sturner, the Graduate NWA program manager for the Northwest Arkansas Council.
Additional information about the financial aid workshops is available at www.GraduateNWA.com
The Northwest Arkansas Council and higher education partners created the Graduate NWA program in 2012. The partners include the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, John Brown University in Siloam Springs, NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest in Fayetteville.
Graduate NWA is designed to provide information about Northwest Arkansas higher education opportunities and to encourage local residents to restart and complete their education. A study by The College Board showed people with a college degree earn on average about 66 percent more in their career than a high school graduate, leading to a higher quality of life. Additionally, first generation college graduates establish attending college as the norm within their families, increasing the likelihood that their children will be graduates someday.
Moreover, increasing degree completion gives expanding companies confidence that they’ll be able to attract the workforce they need to be successful in Northwest Arkansas.