Graduation Matters Montana-SAF Partnership Results In Families Accessing $4.2 Million In Student Aid

It’s FAFSA time for high school students and their families. Thanks to Graduation Matters Montana’s partnership with the Student Assistance Foundation (SAF), public schools across this state are able to offer FAFSA completion nights and family events ensuring Montana students don’t leave federal student aid dollars on the table.

“Our partnership with the Student Assistance Foundation has meant more Montana students are accessing higher education,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said. “In fact, as a result of the Graduation Matters Montana-SAF College Readiness Fund, Montana students have accessed $4.2 million more in federal student aid over the last three years.”

Since 2012, the Graduation Matters Montana-SAF College Readiness Fund has granted $200,000 to 26 Montana communities to support FAFSA completion.

The FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is how thousands of Montana families access federal and institutional financial aid, grants, and loans.

“SAF is very pleased with the outcomes of this partnership. Working together, schools, OPI, and SAF have opened the doors to higher education for students throughout Montana,” said SAF Vice President and Chief of Foundation Activities Kelly Cresswell.

This year, $50,000 has been awarded to Anaconda ($4,000), Billings ($5,000), Bozeman ($3,500), Butte ($1,800), Columbia Falls ($1,200), Corvallis ($5,000), Custer Co. ($3,000), Hardin ($2,700), Helena/Capital ($2,000), Hot Springs ($500), Jefferson ($2,500), Libby ($2,500), Park High ($3,000), Ronan ($3,000), Thompson Falls ($500), Troy ($2,400) and Wolf Point ($3,500).

Check out an upcoming FAFSA night event in one of the following communities:

Bozeman: Jan. 28, 6-8 p.m. Bozeman High cafeteria, Feb. 2, 1-8 p.m. Bozeman High library, Feb. 4, 1-4 p.m. Bozeman High library

Anaconda: Feb. 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Anaconda High computer lab

Ronan: Feb. 2, 6-8 p.m. Ronan High School

Butte: Feb. 3, 6-8 p.m. Butte High library computer lab

Columbia Falls: Feb. 3, 8:30 a.m. -3:30 p.m., 6-8 p.m., Columbia Falls High School

A complete list of FAFSA completion events is available at the SAF website, www.smartaboutcollege.org.