What does it take to get financial aid? The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is one of the first steps in the application process for students applying to college. It determines eligibility for different kinds of financial aid. The FAFSA can be overwhelming, especially for students who are the first in their family to go to college. High school students from CUNY College Now at City Tech worked with CUP teaching artist Becky Slogeris to demystify this fearsome form.

CUP’s project introduced students to interviewing as a research tool, as part of a larger course about research methods. The students tested their new skills as they grilled Marcus Richardson, a financial aid officer from Brooklyn College, and got the lowdown on the FAFSA.

What do all the questions on the FAFSA mean, and how do you make your way through the application process? The group put all their research together to create a poster on the FAFSA to help other high school students getting started on financial aid. Students from the class presented their poster to over a hundred public high school students in the College Now program at Hostos College in the Bronx. The poster is currently being used by College Now as a recruitment and education tool.

You can see the double-sided poster here.

Resources & Links

CUNY College Now at City Tech is a free City University of New York program designed to prepare NYC’s public high school students for success in college. 

Funding Support

This project was made possible by the CUNY College Now program. Additional support was provided by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Kim Nauer, Lee McMahon, and Marcus Richardson (Brooklyn College)


  • Project Lead
  • Valeria Mogilevich
  • CUNY College Now at City Tech
  • Students
  • Atreyu Aguilar
  • Dacia Duncan
  • Amory Gregory
  • Dahlia Hatab
  • Tamera Imhiavan
  • Sanasa Kaba
  • Ashlee Kelly
  • Ebony Lowery
  • Peter Luo 
  • Ava Masen
  • Alexis McDowell
  • Mary Mei 
  • Oscar Przezdziecki
  • Elizabeth Samaroo
  • Destiny Serulle
  • Elaine Xie
  • College Now teacher
  • Jesse Tandler

  • Program Director
  • Ivonne Barreras