Panhandle schools helping more students complete the FAFSA to increase college enrollment

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 6:03 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Texas legislature signed a bill in 2019 requiring seniors graduating this spring apply for federal or state financial aid.

The idea behind this is students are more likely to enroll in college when aware of the financial resources available to them.

This is especially important for first generation students.

“Just as a person who graduated in 2010, I was first generation,” said Anyuli Lopez, counselor at Friona High School. “My parents did not speak English, and so I did not know what the FAFSA was until after I got accepted into school, and I did not know that was something that could help pay for college.”

Lopez now works with the students to create FSA ID’s and the City of Friona is having an event at the library to help families who don’t have technology.

Friona has a large population of those that may not have access to Wi-Fi and may not have access to computers so what we wanna do is make sure that they have those resources to be successful whether they’re applying for FAFSA or just doing general research on college readiness.

Canyon ISD is working with groups of students to create FSA ID’s and is meeting with families in extended hours to make sure students have post-graduate opportunities.

“We do have those kids that want to do something next and this has never been done in their family,” said Sasha Reilly, counselor at Randall High School. “I talked to a girl last week and she said, ‘I’m a first generation,’ and I said ‘A first generation college student?’ and she said ‘I’m going to be a first generation high school graduate.’”

Amarillo ISD is still offering financial aid workshops to help families complete the FAFSA.

River Road ISD says they’re working with students inside the classroom to complete the application and is planning to soon work with families.

The deadline to apply for the FAFSA is June 30.

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