January 20, 2016, AUSTIN, TX – The Austin Chamber, C3 Presents (Austin City Limits Music Festival) and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema jointly announced a new initiative today to encourage local high school seniors to file for financial aid before March 31, ahead of key filing deadlines.
Currently, 80 percent of students who successfully complete financial aid forms enroll in college yet, only 45 percent of high school seniors fill out financial aid forms 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.
The new partnership aims to increase participation in the Chamber’s popular Financial Aid Saturdays (FAS) program, a program focused on helping thousands of students and their families complete complicated financial aid forms before college financial aid deadlines affecting need or merit-based grants and scholarships.
Forty high schools in Central Texas will compete against each other for scholarship money from C3 Presents and VIP movie screenings from Alamo Drafthouse. The schools that get the most seniors to file for financial aid before March 31 will win. To drive the contest on each campus and push seniors to file, each high school has appointed one student leader to lead the charge. C3 Presents will offer a $1,000 scholarship to 10 student leaders who get the most of their peers to file by March 31 and Alamo Drafthouse will award the top three schools with a VIP screening of Captain America: Civil War.
The 40 competing schools will be split into three categories, based on enrollment size: small, medium and large. The student leaders and their senior class will compete for the highest financial aid filing rates within their category.
The Austin Chamber, C3 Presents, and Alamo Drafthouse have partnered because they believe in the mission to help more students afford college enrollment.
"Our partnership with the Chamber’s Financial Aid Saturdays Program allows us to give back to our community and help provide opportunities to students who might not otherwise be able to afford a college education," said Patrick Dentler of C3 Presents, producers of the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
“We are excited to join this initiative to get more Central Texas students on the path to college,” said Amy Averett, Director, Family and Community Engagement at Alamo Drafthouse. “While filling out financial aid forms will probably never top a high school senior’s list of fun things to do, we hope that the movie incentive will generate some energy and excitement for the students to get their forms completed. We believe that the increased financial aid that will result can have a major impact for individual students and Central Texas as a region.”
Over 60 percent of available jobs openings in Metro Austin require either an associate's or bachelor's degree, which is an important reason for Central Texas to help students matriculate into higher education.
“Filing a FAFSA early vastly improves a student's odds to receive merit or need based aid,” said Shaun Cranston, Austin Chamber Education Council Chair and SVP of Brookfield Residential over Texas. “With aid money, students can actually afford the higher education and training necessary to compete for the best jobs.”
In 2006, the Austin Chamber 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. For 2016, the Chamber's Financial Aid Saturdays program aims to achieve just over 11,700 filings for a yielding around $120 million in aid to support college going seniors in Central Texas.
For more information about the ACL Fest contest, please visit our contest page here (http://www.austinchamber.com/education-talent/contest.php).
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 AustinChamber.com.
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 C3Presents.com.
About Alamo Drafthouse
Tim and Karrie League founded Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin. Eighteen years later, the now 21-location chain has been named "the best theater in America" by Entertainment Weekly and "the best theater in the world" by Wired. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover's oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse Founder & CEO, Tim League, created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed "The Geek Telluride" by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The Alamo Drafthouse's collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is expanding its brand in new and exciting ways, including Drafthouse Films, which has garnered two Academy Award nominations in its short four-year existence, and Birth.Movies.Death., an entertainment news blog curated by veteran journalist Devin Faraci.
Jenny Steward, Public Relations Manager, Austin Chamber of Commerce
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.