It’s Not Too Late!

It’s Not Too Late!

By Rebecca Hughes – GenTX Assistant Program Coordinator

 

 

 

Financial Aid & College Application Workshop Opportunities abound for the approximately 1,000 Abilene ISDstudents who proudly walked the stage at their high school graduations lastmonth. Unfortunately, although their futures hold limitless potential, many ofthese students are not taking full advantage of all the opportunities affordedto them. According to the federal government’s website that tracks how manyseniors have applied for financial aid for the 2012-2013 academic year, currentlyonly 282 AISD students have completed the Free Application for Federal StudentAid, or FAFSA. That’s less than 30% of AISD graduating seniors! Why should these numbers alarm you? The answer is simple: Most students cannot afford to attend collegewithout financial aid, and filing the FAFSA is the first step to obtainingfinancial aid. Furthermore, many colleges request that students file theirFAFSAs as an initial step in the college application process. In short, if astudent doesn’t file the FAFSA, it is very unlikely that s/he will attendcollege this fall. {{more}} Some students may worry that filing the FAFSA is a waste oftime because they fear they won’t qualify for financial aid. However, filingthe FAFSA is free, and most students qualify for some sort of financial aid.Additionally, there are scholarship databases, such as fastweb.com and theAbilene Educational Foundation’s www.aaeeff.org thatprovide lists of scholarships for which students can apply. For students who still may need a bit more convincing tofile the FAFSA and apply for college, there are several websites that offerinformation and tools for students and parents. For example, www.GenTX.org offers inspirationand help navigating through the college application and financial aid applicationprocesses. GenTX is a statewide initiative dedicated to creating a culture ofcollege- and career-readiness for this generation of Texans. Thankfully, it’s not too late for students to file the FAFSA!Students can still apply for financial aid—much of which is free money— at www.fafsa.ed.gov and can still apply for college in the fall. For local studentswho need help with the FAFSA or the college application process, the AbileneRegional P-16 Council is hosting a bilingual college workshop, called “It’s NotToo Late!” at Cisco College on Tuesday, June 26 from 6:00 to 7:30 in the evening. Students need to bringtheir driver licenses and both theirs and their parents’ 2011 tax forms. Representativesfrom the P-16 Council, Generation TX, Café con Leche, and Cisco College will beavailable to assist students.