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Team SISD outperforms state in FAFSA completion, aims for more in 2016-17
With a focused effort on college readiness, including helping students capitalize on financial aid and scholarship opportunities, the Socorro Independent School District increased its Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rate over last year and surpassed the state and region rate.
Team SISD’s FAFSA completion rate of 49.65 percent was 11.4 percent higher than the state (38.25 percent) and 3.56 percent higher than the region (46.09 percent) at the end of the 2015-2016 school year, according to 2016 TxCAN reports.
As part of Team SISD’s unwavering commitment to prepare students for college, careers and life, high school counselors highly encourage and support students and families to complete the FAFSA, which allows students to find out if they qualify for millions of dollars available in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds for college.
“Our high school counselors understand the importance of students fulfilling financial needs to go to college,” said Tammi Mackeben, director of guidance and counseling. “They implemented many new initiatives last year to assure all students received assistance while applying for FAFSA.”
With a new school year around the corner, counselors are already preparing to work with seniors individually early in the year to streamline the college financial aid process and ensure the FAFSA application is complete well ahead of deadlines. In addition, Team SISD counselors make sure seniors apply for scholarships, grants and a minimum of two colleges or universities.
“We set time aside to make sure our seniors are taken care of,” said Nancy Torres, counselor at Montwood High School. “Our students won’t have to spend time doing their financial aid application or seeing what college they will go to. We are sending them prepared.”
After completing the FAFSA, a student aid report is produced, which determines how much financial assistance a student qualifies for based on their parent’s tax information. It is also helpful to compare cost of attendance at universities and help students select a school.
“We not only want them to go to college, we want them to graduate from college,” Torres said. “We instill in them that going to school is not K-12, it is primary to 16.”
|Strategic Direction: College and Career Readiness