Local group offering free FAFSA advising to college-bound students

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An important date is approaching for students looking to go to college this fall.

One local group is working hard to ensure those students have the tools students need to succeed.

"The FAFSA process is definitely very confusing," said Brittany Cleek, College Connections Center.

During the summer months in Kansas City, there's not a lot of options for free help.

"There's not really anywhere else like us in the Kansas City area, or really even close so we like to think that we're serving a very crucial role in the Kansas City area," said Cleek.

The College Connections Center is sponsored by the Missouri College Advising Corps. For the past five years, they have been offering assistance to college-bound students.

"We asked them, 'You know, if it weren't for the College Connections Center, what would you have done to get help?' And the student said they would have quit because there was nowhere else to get access," said Cleek.

Everything from housing applications, orientation, to career exploration, Cleek said help with filing the FAFSA is their largest request.

"It can really turn a student away from wanting to go to college just because how confusing and how long and hard the process can be," said Cleek.

There are also some changes students need to be aware of. This year, FAFSA will ask for your 2015 tax return. 

"If there are any drastic changes, so if your parents make more income, then you can just reach out to your financial aid office at your selected school and let them know that and they'll do some adjusting on their end," said Quana Atkins, College Connections Center.

Every summer, the center helps around 2,500 students.

College Connections Center is now opened at the Metropolitan Community College Penn Valley Campus every Monday and Tuesday. They will be at MCC Longview on Wednesday's and Thursday's.

The deadline for filing your FAFSA is June 30.

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