Negotiating the college admission process is confusing in the best of times and this year feels even more challenging. Luckily, Phoenix Public Library’s College Depot can help. College Depot is a free, full-service college access center that has assisted over 60,000 community members with their education goals. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) applications cycle opens on October 1 for the 2021-2022 school year. High school seniors planning to attend college beginning in the fall of 2021 need to complete and submit a financial aid application.

College Depot is offering free college and financial aid planning workshops as well as individual phone appointments to help students and their families through the process. Get help completing the FAFSA form, learn how to research and apply for scholarships, or sign up for one-on-one mentoring.

One workshop to consider is College Depot G.R.I.T. (Graduating Ready, Independent and Tenacious). Designed for first-generation college-bound high school seniors, GRIT provides participating students (class of 2021) with a new, more connected type of advising. Our 2021 GRIT seniors will be assigned an advisor to provide direct, virtual support throughout their senior year. GRIT will officially begin the week of September 14, which will include a virtual orientation session. Once GRIT begins, advisors will meet with their assigned students one-on-one virtually to create an individualized senior plan.

Advisors will check in with students regularly to make sure they are on track and be available for students to contact. Advisors will also assist with essential steps throughout the school year and into next summer. This includes individualized support for completion of FAFSA and college applications, as well as scholarships, financial aid, admissions, and anything else needed to successfully start college in the fall of 2021.

Financial Aid Labs will be also offered throughout September vial WebEx Events to walk students and families through the FAFSA line-by-line while answering questions and providing one-on-one assistance. Individual phone appointments are available Monday through Saturday. If you would like to schedule a phone appointment with a College Depot staff member, call 602-261-8847.

Registration is required for all online sessions; for specific dates and times go to Phoenix Public Library’s website at and click on the Online Programs tab at the top to sign up.