Every year, tens of thousands of Hoosiers take an important and necessary step to become eligible for financial aid to help fund post-secondary education. But this year, the number of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicants is down significantly, and the April 15 deadline for generous State of Indiana grant aid is rapidly approaching. Residents in Elkhart need to know they have a trusted nonprofit ally ready to help them secure funds for education beyond high school.

While students and families across Northern Indiana engage in college planning every year, 2021 is different. Many in the area have experienced job losses, unexpected expenses are derailing plans, and in a recent survey more than three-quarters (77 percent) of Hoosiers said they believe the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn has pushed higher education further out of reach.

Joe Wood is president and CEO of INvestEd, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Hoosiers learn more about paying for education beyond high school.

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