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Elected officials, school district urge student participation at college aid workshops

January 25, 2014 (San Diego)--High school seniors, local elected officials and San Diego Unified School District representatives announce plans to increase the number of San Diego-area high school students applying for free college financial aid. Students are urged to attend one of 13 upcoming “Cash for College” financial aid workshops.

In 2013, San Diego region workshop participants were offered more than $3 million in federal and Cal Grant aid.

Seniors who attend a workshop and apply for a Cal Grant by the March 2 deadline could also qualify for an extra $1,000 Cash for College scholarship offered at each workshop. The workshops, titled “Free Application for Federal Student Aid & Califiornia Dream Act Application Workshops, will be held between January 25 and March 1. Workshop information is available in a pdf document here and also at

College financial aid increases opportunities for students to attend a college or university of their choice. The Public Policy Institute of California estimates that the state will need an additional one million Californians with four-year degrees or higher by 2025 because 41 percent of the state’s jobs will require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Currently, only 35 percent of adults will be prepared to meet this demand. Increasing college access and affordability is essential.

Another 2.3 million Californians will be needed with post-graduate degree certificates and two-year degrees in addition to the 3.2 million the state is projected to produce by 2025 according to California Competes.

Officials at the announcement included Senator Marty Block, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, U.S. Representative Scott Peters, San Diego Unified Board Trustee Richard Barrera, Linda Doughty of the California Student Opportunity and Access Program and San Diego Unified high school students.