Applying for financial aid for college or any type of post-secondary education can be a challenge. Luckily for local students and their families, there’s 24/7 help available through an innovative chatbot program called Ask Benji.
Ask Benji is a first-of-its kind chatbot specifically designed to help students, parents/caregivers, and educators get quick answers to a wide variety of questions about the FAFSA. The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for post-secondary funding opportunities at universities, colleges, and trade schools. Ask Benji is free and easy to use. Questions are confidential and Benji responds 24/7 within 60 seconds.
“On behalf of the partners, we are thrilled to be able to expand Ask Benji statewide,” says Richard Daniel, executive vice president and chief operating officer for College Success Arizona, Expect More Arizona and Achieve60AZ. “The expansion of Ask Benji comes at an important time when we’ve seen drops in FAFSA completion and college enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Ask Benji was launched in October 2019 as a partnership of ASU, College Success Arizona, Achieve60AZ, the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education, the Arizona College Access Network (AzCAN), Helios Education Foundation, Mesa Public Schools, Maricopa Community Colleges and Be a Leader Foundation. In 2021, it was expanded to serve students state-wide thanks to a $1.5 million grant.
Visit askbenji.org for more information about Benji, the FAFSA, and other resources. Text “Help” to Benji anytime at 602-786-8171 to get started. Opt out at any time by texting “Stop.”