Lauren is a young student at a local community college who first encountered $tand By Me through her First Year Experience class. After learning about all of the services that a financial coach provides, she made an appointment to meet with me one-on-one.

During our first meeting, she expressed concern about how hard it was to pay school out of pocket. We talked about her financial aid situation, and I learned that she had not filed her FAFSA because she was living with her grandmother, who was not willing to share her financial information. As a result, Lauren wasn’t eligible for assistance and was working to pay her way through college entirely on her own. She was convinced her grandmother wouldn’t change her mind, but eventually agreed to have her contact me so that I could fully explain the process and
how beneficial it would be for Lauren.

After we spoke, we were able to complete Lauren’s application in the office, and she received a Pell Grant that covered her schooling costs. The fact that she was able to learn about $tand By Me in her First Year Experience class allowed her to access a resource she thought was out of reach, and as a result, she will be able to save the money she was spending on tuition for other needs and future goals.