College Readiness for the High School Class of 2021

Once again New Haven Promise is helping to bring resources to high school students who are in more need than ever, given the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Promise and Higher Heights Youth Empowerment have joined forces to host a series of FAFSA workshops for the Class of 2021.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education, the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation dispersing more than $120 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds annually to more than 13 million students paying for college or career school.

Financial aid professionals will be available to help students and families navigate the process of need-based federal aid. Below are the dates and those who sign up will receive a checklist of items that they will need to successfully complete the process. These events are open to high school students across the region and are not limited to students in New Haven.


Wed., Oct. 7 — 6:30–8 pm (Open to all, virtual) — Completed
Wed., Oct. 21 — 6:30–8 pm (Open to all, virtual) — Completed
Sat., Nov. 7 — 10 am–2 pm (Open to all, virtual) — Filled to capacity
Tues., Nov. 10 — 6 pm to 7:30 pm (Abierto a todos, virtual, En español con CT Students for a Dream) — Register now
Wed., Nov. 18 — 6:30–8 pm (Open to all, virtual) — Register now
Wed., Dec. 16 — 6:30–8 pm (Open to all, virtual) — Register now

New Haven Promise will be hosting sessions for potential qualifiers (which includes being a resident of the city and enrolled in a New Haven public high school). Students and parents can learn more about the process and benefits by attending one of these virtual events, one in English and one in Spanish.


Tues., Oct. 20 — 6 pm (Abierto a todos, virtual, En español) — Completed
Thurs., Oct. 22 — 6 pm (Open to all, virtual, English language) — Completed

Also a new feature has been added for students struggling to find an appropriate college essay topic or looking for the inside scoop from admission counselors that have read thousands of essays. Quinnipiac University, alongside New Haven Promise, will be hosting a virtual College Essay Workshop, which will equip students with the tips and tricks to writing a captivating college essay. This event is open to all students seeking advice in the essay writing process, but you must register before attending. Once you’ve registered, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to the event. Any questions about the essay workshop can be directed to Kayla Dayle ( or Randy Ferguson (,


Thurs., Oct. 29 — 6 pm (Open to all, virtual) — Completed

And finally, the Connecticut College & Career Readiness Alliance (CCCRA) is working to help more students enroll in college. Now more than ever, collaboration is vitally needed to ensure our state’s students have access to the postsecondary opportunities that await them.

Financial aid professionals interested in volunteering for these events can register by clicking here.

New Haven’s College Commitment

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Opportunities abound for college-bound students in New Haven.

The Yale University-funded New Haven Promise not only helps students financially, the program leverages its benefits to increase institutional grants for recipients and it provides a link between the scholars and the business community.

In addition, the New Haven Scholarship Fund has been supporting Elm City students for six decades. There is also a wide range of other scholarships which run from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

But an anchor to all this educational opportunity is access to federal financial aid in the form of Pell Grants. If students navigate all the paperwork, it is not uncommon for New Haveners to fund more than 70 percent of their education through grants and scholarships.

To ensure this kind of assistance for students, FAFSA New Haven is committed to providing support in filing for federal aid, thus making sure that no money is left on the table.