College Readiness surprises two high school seniors with FAFSA scholarships

Completing this year’s FAFSA on time paid off big time for two high school seniors who were the surprise recipients of a $500 scholarship on Friday.

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The HISD College Readiness department made two surprise visits to award checks to Belen Mendoza of Austin High School and Ashley Guzman of Energized for STEM Academy, Inc. High School West Campus. As a part of this year’s HISD FAFSA Initiative to increase TASFA or FASFA application submissions, names of every student who completed their TASFA/FASFA by HISD FASFA Day on March 3 were randomly selected from a drawing.

“By submitting your FASFA, you can get free money and receive up to at least $25,000 for four years of college,” said HISD College Readiness Senior Manager David Johnston. “Those are the big prizes making everyone a winner.”

This is the first year the department has given out scholarships to students under its FASFA Initiative, which kicked off during the FAFSA Roadshow in February and travelled to all HISD high schools to promote education, and provide assistance in applying for scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid.

“I was so confused, and I didn’t expect it,” Mendoza said. “The scholarship is going to be such a big help and I’m really happy. I’ve been looking and applying for scholarships like crazy, and I’ve reached a total of 30 [applications].”

For more information and assistance in financial aid, scholarships and grants, visit the College Readiness website here.