During College Application Week (CAW) held in November, State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) personnel offered their assistance to North Carolina high school seniors completing and submitting free online college applications. Sponsored by College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) and Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (CACRAO), the week-long event provided graduating high school seniors the opportunity to apply to at least one college or university online using CFNC.org, with a primary focus of assisting first-generation students who may not otherwise apply to college.
Approximately 160 Credit Union employees from 81 SECU branches volunteered their support for the effort, which this year helped 6,500 senior students at participating high schools across the state complete and submit more than 8,800 online applications to NC colleges and universities. At the high schools where SECU personnel assisted, the number of students participating in the 2012 Week surpassed last year’s efforts by close to 2,800 students!
SECU first began assisting with College Application Week in 2009, piloting the program with volunteer staff from six Credit Union branches. The success of that pilot program encouraged SECU personnel to offer assistance on a larger scale in subsequent years. The Credit Union has also been participating in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Day with CFNC and the North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Association each February since 2009, helping students and their families apply for state and federal financial aid for college.
Krista Loew, SECU Vice President of IRA Services, serves as the Credit Union’s CAW coordinator. She comments, “College Application Week is a great opportunity for SECU to join in providing support and encouragement to high school seniors focusing on their education. Completing a college application can be intimidating – helping seniors work through the process is an enjoyable and rewarding experience for our employees. This year’s event was very successful and we look forward to future CAW events.”