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White Plains' Latino U Head Discusses FAFSA Initiatives

Joe Torres of WABC-TV, Shirley Acevedo Buontempo of Latino U College Access and Marco Davis of White House Initiative on Educational Excellence appeared on a recent segment of "Tiempo." Photo Credit: Contributed
Joe Torres, Shirley Acevedo Buontempo and Marco Davis. Photo Credit: Contributed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. --- Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, executive director of Latino U College Access, was joined by Marco Davis, deputy executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics on the WABC-TV program "Tiempo," hosted by news anchor Joe Torres. The topic of discussion was the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the initiative's efforts to support Hispanic families.

Latino U announced its schedule of FAFSA Boot Camps, where volunteers work with families to help complete the application.

"Hands-on assistance has been shown to increase FAFSA application submission rates by 40 percent and college enrollment by 29 percent," Acevedo Buontempo said during the interview.

Latino U's  program was encouraged and praised by Davis. He reinforced the importance of community outreach and efforts to provide assistance to Hispanic families and students.

"Latinos are a large, young and growing population in the United States," said Davis. "Efforts like Latino U's, that help Hispanic students complete the FAFSA and access college greatly contribute to those students achieving their full educational potential, securing their families' future and strengthening the American economy."

According to Acevedo Buontempo, many eligible families, especially those who are Latino and first in their families to go to college, do not complete their FAFSA applications because they do not know it is available or how to successfully complete it. They often leave much financial aid available to them unused and unclaimed.  Acevedo Buontempo noted the time-sensitivity element of filing applications.

"The sooner students fill out their FAFSA, the better.  Many types of financial aid are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so it's to their advantage to file as early as possible," she said.

The complete "Tiempo" interview is available online at

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