Updated November 30, 2023. Read the article that EdNC published about our FAFSA Sweepstakes.

Sharing a great collaborative venture that P20 helped to lead this past Spring. We recently submitted an editorial to EdNC highlighting this partnership and are crossing our fingers that they choose to publish it. You can read all about it here. The main points include:

  • What? During the month of April, students at two Buncombe County high schools (Erwin and Enka) and Madison schools (High School and Early College) were automatically entered into a FAFSA Sweepstakes if they completed and submitted the FAFSA. The sweepstakes was a chance to win $100 in Visa gift cards for themselves and their families
  • Why? Decreased completion rates, combined with results from a P20 Council survey among counselors at secondary and postsecondary levels that specifically inquired about the landscape of barriers facing students, staff and families throughout the FAFSA journey.
  • Who? Planning team was Emily Nicholson, the Western Regional Representative for College Foundation of North Carolina (Devon McCarthy-James) and Student Services staff (Dr. Terry Brasier, Megan Triplett, Melissa McKean) from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.
  • How? Equipped schools with toolkit of resources of how the sweepstakes was going to work and how the partners were there to help, to include 1:1 hours to help students complete the repulsively cumbersome FAFSA with an expert’s help. Traditional marketing methods were used to promote the event, and Madison High School also had an event devoted to just this. This wouldn’t have been possible without the community engagement funds through our Belk Endowment partners.

The P20 Council currently has an action team focused on “Pathways to Enrollment through FAFSA”. We acknowledge that this tool isn’t the only indicator for increasing our credential attainment but it’s one vehicle that opens up conversations about a student’s future. More importantly, this was a pilot project that we hope to improve and replicate!

Do you want to be a thought-partner in a collaborative venture when the “new” (and hopefully, improved) FAFSA rolls out in December? Please contact Emily Nicholson at emilyn@landofsky.org or 252.916.2678.


Contact us!

Emily Nicholson, Executive Director, Land of Sky P20 Council



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