Contact: Allison Lavender | allison@markstein.co | 205.841.1821

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Feb. 15, 2016) – Seniors from seven Birmingham high schools are competing to win a free Taco Bell ® Meal for their classmates while also applying for an opportunity to earn up to $5,815 in grants to offset the cost of college.

Alabama Possible’s Cash for College Birmingham campaign and Taco Bell® are challenging seniors from A.H. Parker, Carver, Huffman, P.D. Jackson-Olin, Ramsay, Wenonah and Woodlawn High Schools to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is required for all students applying for the Pell Grant, federal loans and other work-study programs at Alabama’s two- and four-year, academic and technical schools. Two senior classes from Birmingham City Schools will win a free Taco Bell® Meal based upon their FAFSA completion:

  • Class with highest percentage FAFSA completion before the FAFSA priority deadline of March 1, 2016
  • Class with most improved FAFSA completion rate from last year over the same time period

To receive the free Taco Bell meal, students from the winning high schools must also make the Taco Bell® Foundation’s Graduate For Más promise to graduate from high school. Students can track their school’s progress by following @cashforcollege on Twitter.

“March 1 is a priority deadline for the FASA. While the application remains open after that deadline, students who submit their FAFSA by March 1 will be considered for the most financial aid,” said Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible. “The grants, scholarships and work-study awards that students earn after filing their FAFSA make college possible for low-income, minority and first-generation college going students.”

According to the Department of Education, 9 out of 10 students who file a FAFSA enroll in postsecondary education the following fall. Last year, only 49 percent of Birmingham City Schools’ graduating seniors completed a FAFSA before graduation. Alabama Possible is seeking to increase that number to 70 percent by the year 2020.

“We’re excited to partner with Alabama Possible to reward the senior classes with the greatest number and the greatest improvement in number of completed FAFSA,” said Marjorie Perlman, VP of Marketing and Communications for Tacala, Birmingham Taco Bell franchisee. “Taco Bell and the Taco Bell Foundation know the importance of post-secondary education, and we hope the incentive of a ‘taco party’ will bring excitement to the competition and ultimately increase the number of completed FAFSA.”

Students and their families can complete the FAFSA at one of the many financial aid workshops organized this month by the Cash for College Birmingham campaign in Birmingham City Schools. Unless otherwise noted, workshops will take place during the school day. Students can sign up with their guidance counselor.

George Washington Carver High School

3900 24th St N

Birmingham, AL 35207

Workshop Dates: February 8-9


Huffman High School

950 Springville Rd

Birmingham, AL 35215

Workshop Dates: February 24-25


Jackson-Olin High School

1300 Avenue F Ensley

Birmingham, AL 35218

Workshop Dates: February 1-2, March 21-22, April 20-21


A.H. Parker High School

900 4th St N

Birmingham, AL 35204

Workshop Dates: February 16, 18, 23, 25-26


Ramsay High School

1800 13th Ave S

Birmingham, AL 35205

Workshop Dates: February 8-9, 22-23, 29- March 1


Wenonah High School

2800 Wilson Rd SW

Birmingham, AL 35221

Workshop Dates: February 17-18


Woodlawn High School

5620 1st Ave N

Birmingham, AL 35212

Workshop Dates: February 22-23


YWoodlawn Family Resource Center

100 59th Street S

Birmingham, AL 35212

Workshop Dates: February 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.


About Cash for College Birmingham
Cash for College Birmingham is a campaign led by Alabama Possible, the Alabama Media Group and alumni from Leadership Birmingham. The Birmingham Education Foundation, Birmingham City Schools, Bold Goals Coalition and others throughout the city are also participating.  Learn more at cashforcollegealabama.org.

About Taco Bell® Foundation’s Graduate For Más

Graduate for Más is a program dedicated to igniting teens’ full potential, starting with high school graduation. The Taco Bell Foundation and Get Schooled developed the program so thousands of teens are empowered to follow their path to reach their personal, educational, and career goals. Teens that participate in the Graduate for Más platform receive access to resources, mentorship support, prizes, and cool rewards like educational scholarships. For more information visit getschooled.com/graduate-for-mas.

About Alabama Possible

Alabama Possible is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to remove barriers to prosperity through advocacy, education, and collaboration. Our research-driven work is designed to broaden relationships and enhance capacity building. We believe that it is possible for all Alabamians to lead prosperous lives, and our programs work to make that possibility a reality. We have been changing the way people think and talk about poverty in Alabama since 1993. For more information visit www.alabamapossible.org.