The Power of Partnership! Local High School Wins the Education Trust–New York’s FAFSA Completion Challenge

SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY, June 2019 – The Education Trust–New York recognized Sleepy Hollow High School as a statewide “top performer” for their work helping students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a critical step toward enabling low-income students to access the financial aid necessary to enroll in college.

Sleepy Hollow High School and Latino U College Access (LUCA) have partnered on this important effort for the last three years through LUCA’s FAFSA Boot Camps. Each year, attendance continues to grow with 120 attendees at last year’s event. During this comprehensive four-hour program, students and families work individually with trained volunteers to complete and submit the FAFSA. 95% of the families in attendance at last year’s Sleepy Hollow High School Boot Camp completed and submitted their FAFSA on-site.

“We are proud to partner with Sleepy Hollow High School in our shared commitment to increasing FAFSA completion – especially among low-income, first generation college students,” said Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Latino U College Access. “Working together with Sleepy Hollow High School and community volunteers, our FAFSA Boot Camp helps families successfully complete this important step in making their college dreams a reality. We are delighted with the results achieved through our partnership and the much-deserved recognition for Sleepy Hollow High School.”

David Ziegler, Counseling Department Chair at Sleepy Hollow High School, shared “Sleepy Hollow HS counselors were excited to learn our high school was recognized for our financial aid completion rates. We are grateful for our partnership with Latino U College Access. Together, our two organizations share a mission of helping our students not only get accepted to college but to also educate and work with families on obtaining available funding for college.”

Families are able to benefit from FAFSA Boot Camps thanks to generous funding from Kids’ Club of Tarrytown & Sleepy Hollow and the Westchester Community Foundation, a division of the New York Community Foundation.

The New York FAFSA Completion Challenge recognizes high schools with the highest and most improved FAFSA completion rates since last year based on the region of the state and school size. The Challenge is part of a statewide campaign launched by Ed Trust–NY to encourage public high schools to increase the proportion of eligible low-income students who complete the FAFSA. Winning high schools, where at least half of students must be low-income, each receive $750 to award a scholarship to a college-bound high school senior who is either low-income or a first-generation college student.

About Latino U College Access: Latino U College Access (LUCA) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that transforms lives by making college dreams a reality for low-income, high-achieving Latino students. LUCA’s mission is to increase college enrollment and completion among first generation students by providing equal access and guidance through education, outreach, collaboration, and advocacy, enabling students to reach their full potential. To learn more about LUCA or to make a donation in support of their mission, please visit