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Students Plan for College through FAFSA Night
Students Plan for College through FAFSA Night
Posted on 02/23/2021
Soon-to-be graduates received a college planning jumpstart through a district-wide BCS financial aid event.

The above presentation was recorded on Feb. 11, 2021, and is also available en español. A presentation in English (PDF) is available for download, and helpful FAFSA and NC Residency Determination Service requirements are available in English and Spanish (PDF). 

By: Benjamin Rickert
BCS Communications Dept.

Soon-to-be graduates and their families received a college planning jumpstart through the district-wide ‘FAFSA Night’ financial aid event this February. Through online sessions in both English and Spanish, students learned to apply for higher education funding through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They also had the opportunity to discuss financial aid questions with representatives of the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC), A-B Tech, UNC-Asheville, State Employees Credit Union, Western Carolina University's Project Discovery, the BCS Foundation, and school counselors.

“The main value of FAFSA Night was the wealth of financial aid experience in one setting,” said BCS Student Support and Transition Specialist Suzanne Gavenus.

During the free event, students attended presentations from CFNC’s Devon McCarthy-James (English) and Dr. JuanEs Ramírez (Spanish). They also received advice on their two- and four-year college goals through additional chat sessions, assisted by BCS translators. The event helped students consider and plan for the many costs associated with higher education, such as tuition and fees, housing, meals, books, supplies, transportation, personal needs, and more. Students and their families left with FAFSA action steps and access to helpful industry contacts.

“The first line of defense for college and career questions is your school counselor,” Gavenus explained. “Also, the financial aid reps at any two- or four-year college are experts in the field and are happy to speak with you regardless of which college you ultimately choose.”

During the event, students were encouraged get started with the FAFSA form and financial aid process as early as possible — even before finalizing plans for college — to learn about the resources available.

“Some people change their plans in the spring. They are finding out what colleges they got into and what they can afford,” Gavenus added. “Or maybe they ultimately decide that they do want to go to college after being inspired by a particular class or teacher. It never hurts to be prepared.”

• Your School Counselor

• Your college or university Financial Aid Office

BCS Student Services Websites
College and Career Readiness
Financial Aid and Scholarships

FAFSA Websites

College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC)
Devon McCarthy:
Dr. JuanEs Ramírez:

CFNC Email:
Call: 866.866.CFNC (2362), Option 2, Mon-Thu 8am-6pm, Fri 8am-5pm

A-B Tech Financial Aid
Jon Grunder:
Ben Colburn:
Megan Triplett::

UNC-Asheville Financial Aid

NC State Employees’ Credit Union
Carla Icenhour:

Buncombe County Schools Foundation
Christy Cheek:

Project Discovery Outreach Counselor (Western Carolina University):
Jamy Beth Ferraro:

5 Reasons to Complete the FAFSA

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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