RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- College Foundation of North Carolina provided a record amount of assistance to North Carolina families and prospective college students last year, based on end-of-year statistics.
"CFNC has increasingly become a comprehensive, one-stop destination for North Carolinians who want to go to college," said Steve Brooks, executive director of the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority and a partner in CFNC. "We're pleased to see the evidence that so many families are taking advantage of CFNC services as they plan, apply and pay for college."
"The growing number of North Carolina students taking advantage of online college applications and submitting electronic transcripts shows that CFNC is making the entire process easier and more efficient for students, high school counselors and college admissions officers," said Bruce Mallette, senior associate vice president for academic and student affairs at the UNC General Administration, also a CFNC partner.
More than a half-million free website accounts were created on CFNC.org during calendar year 2009, ranging from elementary school students exploring careers to high school seniors looking for financial aid to parents saving money for college.
Last fiscal year, CFNC call-center representatives answered 169,737 phone calls and e-mails from parents and students.
Regional representatives of CFNC made 2,740 presentations to schools, colleges, libraries and civic organizations across the state.
The number of college applications filed using CFNC.org reached almost half a million last year (almost double the online applications from two years ago). And the number of electronic high school transcripts sent to students' prospective college more than doubled in one year to 109,455.
Two annual CFNC special events grew dramatically in 2009. College Application Week in November, focused on low-income and first-generation college students, resulted in 50,083 college applications from 24,112 students in 421 high schools across the state. And in February 2009, 4,500 N.C. students received help on FAFSA Day from 750 volunteer financial aid officers and high school counselors at 65 sites statewide.
A total of 441,436 N.C. students filled out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, so far, in the 09-10 fiscal year -- already more than the total number for the previous fiscal year. More than 320,000 students have already qualified for Pell Grants in the 09-10 fiscal year.
In addition, more people are saving for college in the NC 529 Plan available at CFNC.org. In calendar year 2009, there were 80,416 account owners with a total fund value of $534,808,377.
College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) is a free service of the State of North Carolina that helps students plan, apply, and pay for college. CFNC is a partnership of Pathways, the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority, and College Foundation, Inc.
- Pathways, created by the N.C. General Assembly in 1999, is a state-wide initiative to increase the college-going rate of North Carolinians by providing: comprehensive college and career planning resources; electronic applications and transcripts accepted by all 110 North Carolina colleges and universities; and, information on student financial aid and college affordability. Pathways is administered by The University of North Carolina General Administration in collaboration with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, the N.C. Community College System, and the N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities.
- The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA), established in 1965, is the State agency that promotes access to higher education by administering financial aid and savings programs, informing students and families about paying for college, teaching educators about financial aid administration, and advocating for resources to support students.
- College Foundation, Inc. (CFI), a nonprofit corporation serving North Carolina students and families since 1955, administers a portfolio of more than $4 billion, including low-interest federal education loans, the State's college grant programs, and the tax-free "529" college savings program on behalf of the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority. CFI also delivers information to North Carolina students and families about paying for college and provides technology services for CFNC.org.
CFNC offers resources toll-free at 1-866-866-CFNC and at CFNC.org.
SOURCE College Foundation of North Carolina