Show me the money! This fall DreamWakers teamed up with Frank — an organization whose mission is to make quality education affordable for all — for a special Financial Aid Flashchat Series. The goal of the five-part program was to virtually connect Frank experts with dream students (and even their parents) across the country to share protips on how to navigate FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form that’s prepared annually by current and prospective college students to determine their eligibility for financial aid.
Speaking to a group of 12th grade DreamWakers scholars in Guernsey, WY, 26 year old Frank CEO Charlie Javice told the group that at Frank, “Everyone comes from different backgrounds, but we have one thing in common: we all suffered through the financial aid nightmare!”
The mission of Frank, she explained, is to prevent other students from enduring the headaches of navigating the notoriously complicated financial aid process. In fact, her mission is to help all students apply for FASFA from their phone in just four minutes.
We sat down with Javice to learn more about her work, her motivation, and lessons she’s learned from pursuing her dream career.
DreamWakers: What is the hardest thing about completing FAFSA®?
Javice: Families often get confused by questions on the form leading to incorrect information being entered. Incorrect answers can either lead to delayed aid or can result in the student not getting all of the aid that they are eligible for. When students file with Frank, not only is it free but it’s so much easier because not only do we focus on adding features that make it painless to file but we put in validation and guard rails to ensure families enter the correct information, so they don’t run into problems. For families that have questions, we provide live support, so they can get connected to a real person.
DreamWakers: What is a common misconception about the form?
Javice: There are a lot of misconceptions around eligibility for financial aid. We found that some first generation students don’t apply because they are concerned that they may not be eligible for aid because of the status of their parents and many adult students don’t apply because they don’t think that they will get aid.The message that we try to get out there is that it’s free to apply and that students are more likely to be eligible than they think.
DreamWakers: How did partnering with DreamWakers help Frank access more students?
Javice: Frank’s partnership with DreamWakers provided an opportunity for our team to impact many more students at one time. We appreciate every opportunity to directly connect with students. Any additional resources we can provide to our students, moves us one step closer to our goal: to get students to and through school.