Austin skyline at night.

Austin Chamber and C3 Presents Team Up to Reward Students for Increasing College Financial Aid Awareness

Posted By Greater Austin Chamber | Oct 08, 2015
Press Releases Print Article Austin skyline at night.

Initiative between Austin Chamber and Austin City Limits Music Festival encourages local high school seniors to increase college readiness and Central Texas prosperity

AUSTIN, Texas – Oct. 8, 2015 –The Austin Chamber of Commerce and C3 Presents' Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Fest) today rewarded high school student leaders for their work in expanding financial aid efforts on their respective campuses. The partnership aims to increase participation in the Chamber’s popular Financial Aid Saturdays program (FAS), an initiative focused on helping students and their families complete complicated financial aid forms before college financial aid deadlines affecting need or merit-based grants and scholarships.

The Chamber and C3 Presents awarded 30 Weekend Two ACL Fest passes to high school student leader teams that secured the most "likes" and "retweets" on the Chamber's College Ready Austin Facebook and Twitter pages. These social networks, which support students and high school counselors, feature regular posts with college application tips, deadlines, scholarship tools and college aid/budgeting resources.

The winners of the social media contest include:

  • Large category winner: Reagan Early College High School (Austin ISD)

  • Medium category winner: Del Valle High School (Del Valle ISD)

  • Small category winner: KIPP Austin Collegiate (KIPP Austin Public Schools)

In addition to free passes, ACL Fest producers escorted the students on an exclusive behind-the- scenes tour of the event. Over the last three years, C3 Presents has participated in this program because it believes in the mission to help more students afford college enrollment.

“Many C3 staffers understand the value of earning one’s way to becoming gainfully employed by volunteer work or internship programs,” said Patrick Dentler of C3 Presents. “We value our partnership with the Chamber’s Financial Aid Saturdays Program, as it allows us to give back to the community that many of us grew up in. We are proud to support this valuable initiative and help provide opportunities to those who would not otherwise be able to afford a college education."

Currently, 80 percent of students who successfully complete financial aid forms enroll in college, but only 45 percent of high school seniors do so within state or college deadlines. By promoting timely aid filing, this program boosts the odds for families to connect their students with the funding they need to afford college.

“With over 60 percent of 46,000 Central Texas job openings requiring either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree, it is essential that our students and parents have the funding they need to afford the higher education and training necessary to compete for good jobs,” said Shaun Cranston, Austin Chamber Education Council Chair and SVP of Brookfield Residential over Texas. “We are delighted that ACL is working with us again to inform our future workforce about financial aid options that can help more families pay for college."

In 2006, the Austin Chamber of Commerce began its Financial Aid Saturdays program to provide a convenient and supportive way for high school seniors and their parents to file for college financial aid. Since its inception, first-time filings have doubled from 5,579 in 2006 to 11,204 in 2015. The growth in aid filings represents more than a 100 percent increase since the program's inception.

For 2015, these aid filings yielded an estimated $113 million dollars in federal, state and institutional aid to Central Texas, college-bound high school seniors. For 2016, the Chamber's Financial Aid Saturdays Program aims to achieve a filing rate of 50% for high school seniors by Q1 2016, and just over 11,700 filings for a net financial impact of $118 million in aid to support college going.

For more information about the ACL Fest contest, please visit


About the Austin Chamber of Commerce

The mission of the Austin Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for its 3,000+ members. For more information about the Austin Chamber of Commerce visit


About C3 Presents

C3 Presents creates, books, markets and produces live experiences, concerts, and private events. C3 is the force behind Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas and Lollapalooza in Chicago. Other events in the C3 portfolio include the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, Wanderlust Festival, Lollapalooza Brazil, Lollapalooza Chile, Lollapalooza Argentina, and Big Day Out Australia. C3 books and promotes more than 1,000 concerts in arenas, theaters, casinos, and clubs across the US annually, making it the third-largest promoter in the country. In addition to event production and booking, C3 manages the careers of select artists. Visit




Media Inquiries:

Jenny Steward, Public Relations Manager, Austin Chamber of Commerce O: 512.322.5637

Greater Austin Chamber

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce focuses on how the Austin Region works. We serve as the voice of business for 2,800 organizations representing a combined workforce of about 330,000 employees throughout Central Texas. Our mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for members.