News / Press Release

L.A. Area Chamber and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Announce More Money Available Than Ever At 2009 Cash For College Workshops

During slow economy, L.A. students eligible for up to $4,000 in additional scholarships through MDRC evaluation and by attending Cash for College Financial Aid Workshops

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce together with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other civic leaders today announced that more money for college is available to L.A. students than ever before at Cash for College Financial Aid Workshops held on Saturday, February 7, 2009 and throughout the month at more than 40 locations across Los Angeles.  In addition to the federal and state financial aid available to all students, a national evaluation from MDRC will provide up to $4,000 to 600 L.A. students attending a 2009 Cash for College Financial Aid Workshop.

"This year, more than ever, it is imperative that students understand that the dream of paying for a college education is not out of reach," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Cash for College keeps that dream alive, and I encourage students and families to take advantage of this tremendous resource."

The MDRC evaluation — made possible through grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates and College Access Foundations — will help researchers understand how to maximize the effectiveness of scholarship programs.  The evaluation will track scholarship recipients and non-recipients to compare outcomes on key indicators including enrollment, first year retention, academic performance and graduation.  The study will also examine several subgroups of scholarship recipients receiving varying scholarship amounts and requirements.

By attending a Cash for College workshop, students and their families become eligible for the scholarships and all will receive free, one-on-one professional assistance completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Cal Grant GPA Verification Forms, needed to qualify for more than $40 million in state, federal and other types of financial aid.  Each workshop also offers an AB540 advisor, to help undocumented students maximize the financial aid available to them.  Financial aid is available to all students regardless of age, income or immigration status.

“Here in Los Angeles and across the nation, 21st century employers require a skilled workforce,” said Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Gary Toebben.  “The L.A. Area Chamber is proud to be the lead organizer of Cash for College in Los Angeles as we work to help today’s students become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Cash for College Financial Aid Workshops are made possible through the generous support of sponsors including: College Access Foundation of California; Bank of America; AT&T; Los Angeles Trade Tech College; Microsoft; Los Angeles Community College District; the Sterling Foundation; Verizon; ALL Student Loan; Domino’s; Ralphs; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; and USA Funds.  

More information on Cash for College Financial Aid Workshops is available at

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit


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Alejandro Guzmán, 213.580.7544
Gwen Oldham, 213.580.7532