Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rochester Launches "March College Madness"

This month is popular for the annual college basketball tournament March Madness. The City of Rochester is kicking off its "March College Madness" in an effort to help families to find ways to pay for college.

To help ease the anxieties of creating a financial aid game plan, Rochester's mayor is teaming with the educational community this month.

"We understand that sometimes financial aid is a barrier to a child deciding that they want to go to college," says Mayor Lovely Warren. "We wanted to make sure parents and students have and are able to get that information right in their neighborhood. I am so excited and happy that many of the colleges in our area have joined on to say that they want to be a part of this."

The program aims to provide families and young people one-on-one help in finding scholarships, understanding and filling out federal aid programs forms.

MCC President Ann Kress says the "March College Madness" approach is a critical step in breaking down barriers for those who believe college isn't for them because of money challenges.

"The reality is when you look at data across the country; the ability for a student to obtain financial aid is often not just the determining factor if they go to college but whether they apply to college at all. That’s significant."

Kress says 60 percent of parents with incomes below $50 thousand annually say they need more information on how to pay for college.

During Thursday's announcement, Warren also launched an effort with Trillium Health to help students obtain health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That's if they aren't covered under their parents plan.

"March College Madness" and health insurance enrollments are held on Saturdays March 22nd and March 29th between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Rundel Library among recreation centers in the different quadrants of the city.