L.A. Area Chamber helps more than 7,000 students learn about financial aid and awards $20,000 in scholarships at annual college and career convention

November 22, 2016
by L.A. Area Chamber

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with its affiliate, UNITE-LA, provided college preparation, financial aid and scholarship training to more than 7,000 students who attended workshops at their 15th annual College & Career Convention. They also awarded $1,000 scholarships to 20 students who attended the event on Friday and Saturday at Los Angeles Trade Technical College.

“At the Chamber, we know that for many of the families in our communities, the most significant barriers to someone attending college are finances and the financial aid process,” said L.A. Area Chamber Executive Vice President of Education and Workforce Development, David Rattray. “The Cash for College Convention is a great way to provide available financial aid opportunities to students and their families, as well as help them understand the application process, which often can discourage their participation.”

The two-day convention provided local, college-bound students (whose schools have limited access to counselors and college resources due to budget constraints) with the latest information on how to maximize their financial aid for college. It featured financial aid, college and career preparation workshops, with experts from local colleges, providing an inside look at how to pay for school and giving students an edge in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), California Dream Act, and Chafee Grant applications.

This year brings about significant changes to the FAFSA filing process, with applications already being accepted. Previously, students would have had to wait until Jan. 1, 2017. Students will still have until March 2nd to submit their FAFSA to be considered for state and federal financial aid. Students and their families can complete their financial aid application while, or even before, they apply for college admission. As well, students will not have to wait for parents/guardians to file their taxes since the FAFSA now asks for income data from a “prior-prior year” for which the income tax filing deadline has already passed.

The Convention is part of a campaign to help students become more familiar with financial aid applications and the resources available to them. The Chamber recently hosted, and will again in January 2017, dozens of workshops walking students through filling out their FAFSA step-by-step.

Cash for College is sponsored by the City of Los Angeles, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Kresge Foundation, Bank of America, the California Student Aid Commission, Ralphs, Youssef and Kamel Mawardi Fund, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Los Angeles Community College District, Union Bank Foundation, Tesoro Refining & Marketing, Los Angeles Refinery and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Cash for College is part of the Chamber’s and its affiliate, UNITE-LA’s, body of work, College Ready L.A., that ensures collaboration in assisting all L.A. area students to be prepared, be able to access and be able to complete college.


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 www.lachamber.com.

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