Parent and Student Information Night will be Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Geneseo High
School, 700 North State St.
The first session will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the school concert hall and will focus
on Financial Aid and completing the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA)
Courtnie Reeder, Illinois Student Assistance Commission Black Hawk College
District Representative, will assist parents in setting up their FAFSA account as
well as explain the financial aid process.
Parents from Geneseo and surrounding communities are encouraged to attend
Financial Aid Information Night as a first step in planning to implement the new
law regarding the FAFSA form enacted this summer by Illinois Governor J.B.
Geneseo High School guidance counselor Linda VanDerLeest said, “Parents of
juniors and especially seniors are strongly encouraged to attend the Financial Aid
portion of the evening. Students and parents of freshman and sophomore
students also are welcome to attend.”
At 7 p.m., parents and students will be able to attend breakout sessions. GHS
counselors will provide information on topics including standardized testing,
college applications, scholarships, dual credit and AP opportunities, careers and
VanDerLeest said Illinois is the third state to require graduating high school
seniors to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known
as the FAFSA form.
“Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the change into law late last week,”
VanDerLeest said. “The legislation takes effect beginning with the 2020-2021
school year. The bill was an initiative by Pritzker, and State Senator Andy
Manar, (D) from Central Illinois, who sponsored the legislation.”
Louisiana passed legislation mandating high school seniors fill out the form
several years ago, and now the State has the highest FAFSA completion rate in
the country with 79 percent of Louisiana 12 th grade students completing the
FAFSA as of June of this year, compared to 63 percent of high school seniors in
Illinois, VanDerLeest said.
Texas passed a similar measure this summer.
The goal of the new measure, Manar said, is to provide financial aid to more
Illinois students from low-income and working class backgrounds.
According to VanDerLeest, Manar said some of the Illinois school districts
already encourage students to fill out the FAFSA while “other school districts
have made little to no effort in terms of the transition from high school to higher
education after high school.”