FAFSA Roadshow brings financial aid support directly to students

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The library at Sam Houston Math, Science & Technology Center was overflowing with college financial aid information on Tuesday, Feb. 16, during HISD’s first-ever FAFSA Roadshow. Created jointly by three district departments — College Readiness, EMERGE, and College Access — the roadshow will travel to all HISD high schools to promote education and provide assistance in applying for scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid.

“The purpose of today is to assist students in completing their TASFA or FAFSA, which is required in order for them to have some type of funding to pay for college,” said College Access Coordinator Kimberly Williams-Dooley. “Our students are doing a great job. We were very intentional about making sure our students had their documents in order.”

Throughout the day, students streamed into the library, tax documents in hand, as representatives from HISD helped them fill out online paperwork and answered their questions. Though the process involves a lot of forms, most of the questions centered on the Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID.

“This year you have to have an FSA ID to log on, so you have to have that done before you can submit your FAFSA,” said Lisle Bull, with HISD’s EMERGE department. “We got a lot of ‘Oh, I already did that. I did that last year.’ Well, yeah, but do you remember it?”

Once student documents were in order, representatives from Houston Community College and advisors from Project GRAD Houston were on hand to discuss college options.

“This is really important,” said senior Lesly Martinez, who applied to Sam Houston University, Prairie View A&M University, and the University of Houston. “Sometimes we don’t know what to do, what we should ask, or how to apply for scholarships.”

The FAFSA Roadshow is a precursor to HISD FAFSA Day on March 3, where students who completed their FAFSA/TASFA will be entered into a drawing to win one of three $500 scholarships from the College Readiness Department.

For more information on the FAFSA Roadshow, please contact the HISD College Readiness Department at 713-967-5231. Dates and schools for the FAFSA Roadshow can be found here.

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