OSSINING, N.Y. -- As the cost of a secondary education keeps increasing, it is important families know where they can get financial aid.
State Sen. David Carlucci, who represents Ossining, was at the Westchester Community College Extension Center in Ossining on Friday to discuss how students can utilize financial aid resources.
Carlucci was joined by Westchester Community College Ossining Extension Director Nicole Joseph, Professor Brian Marsh of WCC (who handles financial aid), Director of Latino U College Access Shirley Acevedo Buontempo and students from Ossining High School and WCC.
A forum was held in Ossining last weekend sponsored by Senator Carlucci, Latino U and WCC to discuss the issue in length but inclement weather kept many residents from attending.
“In New York and throughout the country tuition costs continue to skyrocket past inflation," Carlucci said. "One of my biggest focuses for this year in the senate is how to make New York more affordable. I want to make sure residents have access to services."
According to Carlucci, tuition in both private and public colleges grew an average of 4 percent last year. Carlucci said 60 percent of New York students are now graduating with debt, at an average of $25,000 per student. He said those numbers were "staggering".
"Every year the number grows," Carlucci said. "We have to make sure a college education is not our of reach for families born today or in high school today," Carlucci said. "We don't want students in debt for the rest of their lives."
Carlucci said organizations like Latino U help families be aware of what is out there for them.
"Sometimes there is a language barrier with parents," Carlucci said. "They don't understand their children are eligible for various aid programs and may not apply. I hope people make use of these resources and call my office to get started on the path towards higher education.”
Latino U College Access is dedicated to making college aspirations a reality for first-generation Latino students. Their mission is to increase college enrollment and completion among first-generation Latino youth by empowering students with the knowledge and support they need to successfully maneuver the college process.