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Helping students navigate financial assistance

By Johnny Fonseca

Often a daunting process for students, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is essential for students seeking financial assistance in higher education. San Diego and Imperial Counties California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP)’s Cash for College workshops remove uncertainty from the process and provide students with resources needed to complete their application.

Students and staff gathered on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at the Helix Charter High School’s computer lab in La Mesa to complete the FASFA and other financial aid applications.

At the event, volunteers and staff sat down with students, one-on-one, to guide them through the process.

“I think one of the greatest things, for me, is seeing students and parents who do not believe, who do not think they can afford college to be able to afford it,” said San Diego and Imperial Counties Cal-SOAP director Linda Doughty, who has been working on Cash for College for a decade.

As the event completed, students left exhausted but displayed a noticeable relief as the applications had been completed.

These Cash for College events have the support of elected officials, such as state Senator Joel Anderson.

“For the last couple years [Sen. Anderson] has been one of my greatest supporters,’ Doughty said. “He’s always sent some very talented young people out to the support the event.”

A representative of Anderson attended to promote the Senator’s award-winning internship program, available to students in San Diego County, as well as provide other state resources to students and parents alike.

“I’m thankful Cash for College returned to East County again to help out our students,” Anderson said. “It’s thanks to Linda Doughty and the committed team at Cal-SOAP that students are able to complete their applications accurately and effectively and have access to higher education.”

The team at Cal-SOAP continues helping local students with additional Cash for College workshops. One of them is on Jan. 27 from 9 a.m.–noon at the IDEA Center High School, located at 1600 Cuyamaca St., El Cajon. For more info, contact the San Diego and Imperial Counties Cal-SOAP office at 858-569-1866.

— Johnny Fonseca is a legislative intern for Sen. Joel Anderson’s office.

Source: La Mesa Currier

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