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Highland High Simplifies Financial Aid for Community

Highland High Simplifies Financial Aid for Community
Story by Tristan Chavez, Photos by Jonason Pauley
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GPS High Schools are working to simplify the process of accessing financial aid for students and families with a variety of events taking place over the next few months. One such event was hosted by Highland High School recently, centered around a proactive approach to empower students, parents, and community members to navigate the intricate path to college. 

The landscape of college resources has shifted, with colleges and universities facing constraints that limit their ability to reach out to high school students. In the past, representatives from higher education institutions would visit high schools regularly to provide valuable insights into their programs and financial aid options. Now, not many representatives are available, leaving students with fewer opportunities to explore their options while placing more of the responsibility on high schools to inform students and parents. The anxiety surrounding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) further adds to the issue, discouraging students from seeking financial support for their college endeavors.

Barb Dwyer giving a presentation

Recognizing these problems, Highland High School aimed to figure out a way to educate students. The answer? FAFSA Nights - an initiative designed to provide valuable information and simplify the complex landscape of financial aid.

At a FAFSA Night, participants are treated to a comprehensive presentation covering various financial aid options available for college. The informative session delves into scholarships, details about the new FAFSA, and a discussion on other accessible resources. Importantly, it addresses common misconceptions surrounding the FAFSA, aiming to dispel concerns and empower attendees with accurate information.

Barb Dwyer, a College and Career Liason at Highland High, spearheads the school’s FAFSA Nights - encouraging students to complete the FAFSA every year as it can open the door for many other financial opportunities to pay for college. 

“The transition from high school to college is a big one. It can be complicated and intimidating,” said Barb Dwyer. “I want to make that transition easier for our students. Scholarships change every year so it's important that they have all the resources they need to explore their options.”

FAFSA Nights at Highland High are open to students, parents, and community members throughout the Valley. Participants do not have to attend Highland High School to join. The next FAFSA Night is on February 6, 2024 with additional dates in March and April. For more information, please contact Barb Dwyer. For more information on FAFSA nights at our other High Schools in GPS please visit the school’s website for dates.