October is College Changes Everything Month

Illinois has set a goal to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025. College Changes Everything is a movement started by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to help further that goal. 

The U.S. Department of Education has moved up the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process, and students are now able to file their applications beginning on October 1st. Since the FAFSA will be available at the same time students will be completing their college applications, ISAC has labeled October as College Changes Everything Month, essentially combining the activities of College Application Month and Financial Aid Awareness Month. 

As part of this effort, the University Center of Lake County is collaborating with multiple partners to host a series of financial aid workshops in high schools, colleges, libraries, and nonprofit organizations. Every workshop will be held in a computer lab so that students and families can electronically submit their 2017-18 FAFSA. The FAFSA is required to access any federal student aid and to access the State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) funds. Many colleges and universities also rely on FAFSA data to determine eligibility for the institution’s own financial aid funds. Some financial aid is awarded to eligible students on a “first-come, first-served” basis so students are encouraged to send in their FAFSA application ASAP. 

2016 Lake County sessions:


Oct. 1, 2016, Cristo Rey Saint Martin de Porres College Prep-Waukegan, 9am-12pm
Oct. 6, 2016, Cristo Rey Saint Martin de Porres College Prep-Waukegan, 5-8pm
Oct. 7, 2016, Round Lake High School, 3:30-10pm
*Oct. 11, 2016, Zion-Benton Township HS, 6 - 8 pm
Oct. 15, 2016, Waukegan High School-Brookside Campus, 9am-12pm
*Oct. 18, 2016, Zion-Benton Township HS, 6 - 8 pm
Oct. 19, 2016, Highland Park High School, 4-8pm
Oct. 20, 2016, Round Lake High School, 3:30-5:30pm
Oct. 22, 2016, College of Lake County-LSC-Waukegan, 9am-12pm
Oct. 24, 2016, SIUC-University Center-Grayslake, 6-8pm
Oct. 25, 2016, Mundelein High School, 5-8pm
Oct. 26, 2016, North Chicago Community High School, 5-8pm
Oct. 28, 2016, Youth Build of Lake County-North Chicago, 12:30-2:30pm
Nov. 1, 2016, Lake County High School Tech Center-Grayslake, 5:30-7:30pm
Nov. 2, 2016, Round Lake Public Library, 6-8pm
*Nov. 3, 2016, Zion-Benton Township HS, 6 - 8 pm
Nov. 5, 2016 Waukegan High School-Brookside Campus, 9am-12pm
Nov. 10, 2016, College of Lake County-Grayslake, 6-8pm
Nov. 16, 2016, North Chicago Community High School, 5-8pm
Nov. 22, 2016, Waukegan Public Library, 5:30-7:30pm
Dec. 7, 2016, North Chicago Community High School, 5-8pm
Jan. 4, 2017, Round Lake Public Library, 6-8pm
Jan. 11, 2017, Zion-Benton Public Library, 6-8pm
Jan. 21, 2017, Waukegan High School-Brookside Campus, 9am-12pm
Jan. 27, 2017, Youth Build of Lake County-North Chicago, 9:30-11:30am

Students are asked to bring the following documents with them to a workshop: a copy of 2015 Federal Tax information (parent and student 1040EZ, 1040A or 1040 and all W2 forms), recent bank statements, the student’s driver’s license and Social Security card or Student Alien Registration card if the student is not a U.S. citizen.