Los Angeles Cash for College

Summary

L.A. Cash for College is one of the region’s largest financial aid awareness campaigns that works to create a college-going culture in Los Angeles. Since 2001, the program has helped nearly 238,000 students and their families prepare for college and apply for financial aid. Cash for College partnership organizations provide over 150 financial aid assistance workshops free to students and families at community locations across the L.A. region. The workshops help families navigate how to access multiple funding streams: federal, state, and private grants and scholarships to pay of college. This campaign began with the inception of the massive College and Career Convention that buses in thousands of students from local schools and hosts a special family night to engage parents and caregivers. The convention also provides a college fair, college life workshops, and financial aid support. Students have the chance to be awarded additional scholarships during the annual conference. Additionally students and families are supported through a mobile app to remind them of important FASFA and State Aid deadlines and other helpful tips. 

Strategy

City Role

In 2001 the City of Los Angeles partnered with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and UNITE-LA to support the inception of this campaign. The city financially supported the campaign and utilized the Office of the Mayor to bring together multiple stakeholders to make it a success. The city continues to financially support the campaign and be thought-partners in leveraging resources to give young people more access to college and career opportunities.

Partnerships

L.A. Cash for College uses partner organizations to provide workshops, disseminate resources, conduct outreach to students and families, market events, and provide updated financial aid and college readiness tools and resources. L.A. Cash for College works in partnership with the California Student Aid Commission, multiple city offices, L.A. workforce investment Board, L.A. Community College District, L.A. Unified School District, YouthSource, and WorkSource California. 

Funding

The campaign is funded by a multitude of individual, corporate, philanthropic, educational institutions and community partners. The campaign is also annually supported by the city that views the investment in Los Angeles youth access to college an important priority. Citi Foundation, City of Los Angeles, The Kresge Foundation, Bank of America, California Student Aid Commission, Ralphs, Wells Fargo, AT&T, BNSF Railway Foundation, Youssef and Kamal Mawardi Fund, Microsoft Corporation, Southern California Edison, Union Bank Foundation, Los Angeles Community College District and State Farm Insurance Companies are featured on the L.A. Cash for College material.

Outcomes

Cash for College has been recognized as a national model because it has increased FASFA completion in the Los Angeles. Between the Cash for College convention and regional workshops L.A. Cash for College assists more than 80,000 students in completing their FAFSA form annually and rewards students with $3.3 million in additional scholarships.

Contact
Institute for Youth, Education, and Families

sandler@nlc.org 

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Phone: 213.580.7500, 350 S Bixel St., Los Angeles, CA 90017

Last Modified: March 2016

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