FAFSA, TASFA or Opt-out
In accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.0256, beginning with students enrolled in 12th grade during the 2021-2022 school year, each student must complete one of the following for graduation requirements: · Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA Application) or:
· Complete and submit a Texas Application for State Financial Aid (This application will be available upon request to your College and Career Readiness Specialist) or: · Submit a signed opt-out form (Form in English; Form in Spanish).
Students classified as a Texas Resident who cannot apply for federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are encouraged to complete a Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). To review the FAFSA filing requirements, please visit https://studentaid.gov/.
FAFSA and TASFA Completion Benefits ALL students:
· The FAFSA must be completed to apply for grants, loans, and work-study. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $120 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to help pay for college or trade schools. The FAFSA must be completed to apply for grants, loans, and work-study.
NOTE: All Financial information is kept confidential. EMS ISD will ONLY receive completion status information from Apply Texas.
· Many students are eligible to receive financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college or trade school.
· Research indicates two-thirds of most living wage jobs will require a postsecondary credential. Training for such credentials can be expensive and entrance applications can be challenging. EMS ISD is committed to preparing all students for the transition from high schools to multiple pathways after graduation including college, career, and military.
· Financial need increases with college cost. Most colleges, state agencies, and scholarship foundations require the FAFSA to award scholarships to offset this increase in cost.
· FAFSA is a prerequisite for Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Grad PLUS Loans, and Parent Plus loans. These loans are available without regard to demonstrated financial need and have lower interest rates than private loans.
· The FAFSA can be sent up to 10 schools with one application. The TASFA is a new application per school.
· EMS ISD will support students and families in completing this graduation requirement through the school guidance counselor, college and career readiness specialist, Super Saturday (October 16 at HCTC), as well as EMS ISD College night (November 4 at HCTC), and other campus events. Campus counseling teams will be speaking to all seniors through various classes to explain the requirement, benefits, and due dates on all documents.
· Students not planning to attend a training institution after high school, will have a back-up plan if plans change later in these uncertain times. Having the application already completed will alleviate future stress. Some colleges and trade schools have deadlines and may run out of funds if the student waits too long.
A student may opt out of the financial aid application graduation requirement if:
· a parent or guardian submits a signed form to their counselor or college and career readiness specialist; or
· the student is 18 years of age or older and submits a signed form to their counselor or college and career readiness specialist; or
· a school counselor authorizes the student to decline to complete and submits the application for good cause.
· FAFSA window opens Oct 1. These federal funds are on a first come basis. It is important to capitalize on this opportunity early in the window.
· January 15, 2022 is the priority deadline for Texas colleges.
· This graduation requirement should be completed by March 11, 2022 TEA has partnered with Texas OnCourse to produce a hub of financial aid completion resources including toolkits for students, parents, educators, and community partners.
For further questions regarding this graduation requirement beginning 2021-2022, please contact your campus college and career readiness specialist or lead counselor.
· Boswell- College and Career Readiness Specialist: Virginia Guilbeau firstname.lastname@example.org o Lead Counselor: Chris Bell email@example.com
· Chisholm Trail- College and Career Readiness Specialist: Melissa Cordova firstname.lastname@example.org o Lead Counselor: Mark Hard email@example.com
· Saginaw- College and Career Readiness Specialist: Cathy Bradshaw firstname.lastname@example.org o Lead Counselor: Kristin Koulabouth: email@example.com
· Watson- Lead Counselor: Katie Munk firstname.lastname@example.org