Region One ESC Aiding Students Submit Financial Aid Forms

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EDINRBUG - Region One Education Service Center said they have a goal to meet along with the rest of the education service centers across the state.

The center said they’re working on the 6530 plan, and initiative that centers on getting more students to submit their financial aid packages before the deadline.

The Higher Education Coordinating Board made a stop in the Valley in hopes of getting high school seniors to attend the college of their choice.

Region One ESC GEAR UP Coordinator Norma McCormick said they’re challenging local educators to help the students meet a very important goal.

“We have the Higher Ed Coordinator Board here talking about the 6530 plan for our whole state… We are looking at increasing financial aid submission by four percent,” she said.

McCormick said students applying for financial aid were given the opportunity to get ahead of the game this year.

“It’s very important for our region to look at that... If students apply for financial aid, the early deadline was Oct. 1st, we are going to have more students completing college and graduating without all of that debt,” she said. “So it’s very important for all of us to look at this and collaborate with our counselors, our institutions of higher education, and with our community partners to figure out together how do we make sure that all of our community knows about financial aid.”

Dr. Rosalva De Hoyos, Director for Guidance and Counseling with McAllen ISD, said they reached out to parents as early as Sept. 21. She said they provided them with a checklist and a workbook that shows what their children have to work on.

 “We explained to the parents how to utilize the workbook, and in there we talked about financial aid, the website, how to log in and also the different activities that we are going to have this year,” she said.

Dr. De Hoyos said McAllen ISD will provide FAFSA information at each high school from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 1st.

“We also are planning to have a FAFSA Transmittal Night on Nov. 19 where every student and their parents can come and submit their application,” she said. “And we have college representatives that will also assist, along with all of our guidance counselors and college specialists that will be assisting each student and each family with their application.”

Lead for the Texas Challenge Director June Giddings said Region One ESC is close to meeting that financial aid goal.

“It looks like we are only missing about 1,034 students… If you all can find these kiddos and get them signed up, you will be definitely on track for that four percent and then more,” she said. “Ultimately we are looking at an award of up to $10,000 for (educations services centers) that can meet these metrics. And it looks like you guys are definitely on the path to doing that.”