Tupelo High School to host financial aid workshop

djournal-education-stock-gradBy Chris Kieffer

Daily Journal

TUPELO – College counselors will visit the Tupelo High School campus Thursday to help students complete paperwork for college financial aid.

The school will host a “College Goal Thursday” event on from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the THS media center. It is open to everyone – THS students, students at other schools and adult learners interested in pursuing higher education.

Representatives from the financial aid offices at Itawamba Community College, Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi will be present to answer questions. They’ll also walk applicants through the process of completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a form that must be completed to apply for aid.

“The FAFSA is the gateway to the college application for students, and we are trying to make that easy,” said Pam Carson, who works as the GEAR UP college coach assigned to Tupelo High. “…You don’t get many opportunities to have a room full of financial aid experts, and it is free.”

Tupelo High Assistant Principal Tim Carter said the goal is to assist students with the technical details.

“We are trying to get them through that complex process of getting themselves ready to go to college,” he said.

Participants should bring their family’s W-2 form, latest tax information or last pay stub, Carson said, but if none of that information is available, counselors can still help them start the process. It would be helpful, but not necessary, if parents came too.

The event is one of 47 that will be held throughout the state this month as part of GEAR UP Mississippi’s “College Goal Sunday 2014.” Others in Northeast Mississippi include East Union Attendance Center (Saturday, noon), Houston School of Science and Technology (Feb. 20, 2 p.m.), Okolona High (Saturday, 9 a.m.) and West Point High Thursday, 9 a.m.).

In addition, Nollen Elzie and Lillian Young – graduates of Parents for Public Schools’ parent program – will offer a pair of FAFSA workshops. Those will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Northside Boys & Girls Club and at 6 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Haven Acres Boys & Girls Club.

chris.kieffer@journalinc.com