In the News

With graduation just around the corner, many high school students across West Virginia are slammed with deadlines and applications for college.

"My stress levels are through the roof right now trying to figure out what to do with my life and getting everything straightened out." said Brittany Clay, senior at Scott High School in Boone County.

This year, Brittany's school is making that stressful process slightly easier for students and parents.

"We want people to come in, lay your papers down, and walk out knowing you can send your kids to college." said Amy Cabell, West Virginia Gear Up Site Coordinator.

West Virginia's Gear Up program is offering workshops around the state for students and parents to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Depending on financial need, students could receive up to 8,000 dollars in grant money to make their college transition easier. Professionals are on site at all workshops to assist and guide families through the entire process.

"They will need their social security numbers for both the students and the parent. It will ask about financial information so they can either estimate on their previous years taxes or use their W-2 form." said Carrie Watters with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Completing the FAFSA was a huge relief for Brittany and her mother, and just the push she needed to take on the next step in her education.

"Its definitely going to help me walk across that stage with relief knowing I have an extra step already prepared for me to take." said Brittany.

Only 26% of West Virginia High School Seniors have filled out their 2015-2016 FAFSA application so far. West Virginia Gear Up officials hope to boost that number to 55% and show all students that college is an option for everyone.

"It can open up a whole new world to you and I've seen it first hand and that's why i'm such a believer in having these events and making it so easy." said Amy Cabell.

For future workshop dates or to schedule a private help session you can go to for more information.

Source: WOWK