Pacific to Hold Financial Aid Workshops for Underrepresented Students
University of the Pacific will hold two financial aid workshops in the coming weeks aimed at boosting the number of underrepresented students on college campuses. The workshops will take place on Sunday, Jan. 30 and Saturday, Feb. 5 and will be geared toward Latino and African-American high school students. Both events will be held on Pacific's Stockton campus and are free and open to the public, regardless of race or ethnicity.
The 8th Annual Bilingual Financial Aid and College Awareness Workshop will be on Jan. 30 at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The half-day workshop is from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.). Aimed at Latino families, the workshop will include Spanish-speaking counselors. Pacific's first African American Financial Aid and College Awareness Day is on Saturday, Feb. 5. The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (registration starts at 8:30 a.m.) and will take place in the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center.
Students will be able to apply for federal financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at both events. Financial aid officers will also be on hand to answer questions and assist families. The FAFSA priority deadline is Feb. 15.
Of the 1.56 million bachelor's degrees handed out in 2008, only 7.9 percent of the recipients were Hispanic and 9.8 percent were black, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet nearly 72 percent of those who earned degrees were white.
"Unfortunately Latinos and African-Americans are underrepresented on many college campuses across the country," said Arturo Ocampo, assistant provost for Diversity at Pacific. "Often the reason behind this shortage is due to the cost of tuition and other college-related expenses. We hope these workshops show that financial help is available, whether its scholarships, grants or loans. The more families take advantage of these resources, the more students can continue their education and receive a college degree. "
The Bilingual Financial Aid workshop will include both English and Spanish sessions that cover financial aid, high school graduation requirements, how to prepare for college and campus life, among other topics. The event will include sessions for 6th through 12th grades. Childcare will also be provided during the bilingual financial aid workshop.
The event is co-sponsored by Pacific and the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber. Other sponsors include A.G. Spanos Companies, AT&T, La Tricolor 100.9 FM radio station and San Joaquin County Worknet.
The African-American Financial Aid workshop will also include sessions on financial aid, college and university admissions processes, campus life and college preparation, as well as information for parents. Students in grades 9 through 12 are welcome. Attendees who have the required documents with them can apply to Pacific on site.
For more information about the Bilingual Financial Aid workshop contact the Latino Community Outreach office at (209) 946-7705 or log on to www.icangotocollege.org.