From a City of Rochester News Release, March 6, 2014:
Mayor Lovely A. Warren and partners from the education and health community announced two efforts to help families break down barriers to federal programs that offer assistance to families and students. Both programs will run simultaneously at multiple locations on March 22 and March 29 (details below).
The first of these efforts is March College Madness -- a new program creating opportunities for parents and students to learn about financial aid options and receive individual assistance in beginning the process of filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These sessions will be led by admissions and financial aid representatives from higher education partners who will present "Financial Aid 101" -- an overview of financial aid programs and processes. Experts and trained volunteers will then provide one-on-one assistance to participants in obtaining a U.S. Department of Education PIN (Personal Identification Number) and completing the FAFSA.
March College Madness partners include: Monroe Community College; SUNY Brockport; St. John Fisher College; University of Rochester; Roberts Wesleyan College; Rochester Institute of Technology; Nazareth College; City Department of Recreation and Youth Services; Rochester Public Library's Safe to be Smart Program, and Rochester College Access Network. Rochester College Access Network is a program of Rochester Education Foundation, a community collaborative providing support to college access efforts for Rochester students in grades 6 through 12. Rochester Education Foundation is a not-for-profit organization providing resources and programs for city students.
"When I became Mayor, I promised that education would be my top priority and that is a promise that I intend to keep," said Mayor Warren. "My goal is to break down the barriers that hold back our young people - and that means supporting their educational success. When we talk about barriers to education, money to pay for college is often at the top of the list. I want to make sure that students are aware of the wealth of scholarship, grant and financial aid opportunities available to them and that is exactly what March College Madness is all about."
"Financial aid is a vital component of planning for college. We understand that the process can be intimidating for families - particularly for those who might never have navigated the financial aid application process before," said Dr. Anne M. Kress, Monroe Community College President. "We have extensive experience in helping families navigate this unfamiliar territory; 68 percent of MCC students qualify for financial aid and almost half of our students graduate debt-free. MCC is happy to help students and their families take that first step in achieving the dream of a college education."
Students will need family income information and their Social Security number to apply for a U.S. Department of Education PIN. A PIN is required to complete the FAFSA. For more information about March College Madness, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/collegeaid.
For the second effort, the City of Rochester will work in partnership with Trillium Health to offer assistance to individuals seeking to enroll in a health-insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act before the enrollment period ends on March 31. "Equally critical to our community is access to health care that meets the needs of our citizens," said Mayor Warren. "Trillium Health recognizes this priority and I am thankful for this partnership to help make sure that residents know their options and are able to secure coverage before the enrollment period ends."
"Trillium Health is thrilled to partner with Mayor Warren to link more of our city's young adults to high-quality health care through the Affordable Care Act," said Jay C. Rudman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Trillium Health. "It's important that college-age students understand their new options for coverage under the ACA so that they can make good choices about their health. Our full-time enrollment assistant will be on-site March 22 and March 29 at the libraries, recreation centers, and other institutions collaborating in the Mayor's "March College Madness" initiative to help enroll college students and parents in affordable health insurance plans.
For more information, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/aca.
For more information from Trillium Health on Affordable Care Act enrollment, contact Shannon Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-210-4208.
March College Madness and health plan enrollment sessions are as follows:
* Saturday, March 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Locations: David F. Gantt Community Center, 700 North St.; Flint Street Community Center, 271 Flint St.; and the Rundel Memorial Library, 115 South Ave.
* Saturday, March 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Locations: South Avenue Community Center, 999 South Ave.; Edgerton Community Center, 41 Backus St.; and the Rundel Memorial Library, 115 South Ave.