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SECU assists 6,500 students with college applications
RALEIGH, N.C. (1/10/13)--State Employees' CU (SECU) personnel provided assistance to 6,500 North Carolina high school seniors completing and submitting free online college applications during College Application Week (CAW) in November.

The event is one example of how credit unions can help communities in creative and useful ways and have an impact. 

About 160 credit union employees from 81 SECU branches volunteered this year to help the senior students at participating high schools statewide complete and submit more than 8,800 online applications to North Carolina colleges and universities. At the high schools where SECU personnel assisted, the number of students participating surpassed last year's efforts by close to 2,800 students.

CAW "is a great opportunity for SECU to join in providing support and encouragement to high school seniors focusing on their education," said Krista Loew, SECU vice president of individual retirement account services, who serves as the credit union's CAW coordinator. "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."

The week-long event allowed the students to apply to at least one college or university online using CFNC.org. A primary focus was assisting first-generation students who may not otherwise apply to college. College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) and Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers sponsored the event.

SECU began assisting with CAW in 2009, piloting the program with volunteer staff from six credit union branches. The success of that pilot encouraged SECU personnel to offer assistance on a larger scale in subsequent years.

SECU also has been participating in Free Application for Federal Student Aid 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.
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