Category Archives: College Readiness

10 reasons why students should submit their FAFSA or TASFA today

Completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and TASFA (Texas Application for State Financial Aid) is the first step toward receiving the various types of financial aid for school, and finishing your FAFSA/TASFA early is the best way to maximize college-award packages.  

But how much do you know about these financial aid applications? Here are 10 reasons why students should submit their FAFSA ASAP! For info on TASFA, see below. 

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College and Career Readiness Month activities continue all month

The Office of Strategy & Innovation has planned a variety of October events for the second annual College & Career Readiness (CCR) Month with the theme “Take Control: Explore. Design. Launch Your Future!”   

CCR Month is a fun and creative way to engage students and introduce students to a variety of college and career options. 

HISD’sCollege Readiness Department is visiting high schools all month and continuing through Nov. 15 to assist seniors and their parents fill out their applications for financial aid. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step toward getting many different types of financial aid for school, and finishing the FAFSA early is the best way to maximize college award packages.

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Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarships now open

Apply by Feb. 28 for a full career and technical education scholarship 

Students considering a career in construction, transportation, cosmetology, nursing, or industrial technology may qualify for a full scholarship in one of these fields or many more. Local and national industry data show a need for highly skilled employees in high-growth jobs with great earning potential. 

Since 2012, the Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarship has been awarding worthy HISD graduates full scholarships covering their two-year degree or certification program in these high-demand careers. This scholarship includes not just tuition but books, fees, etc. 

As many as 80 full scholarships are available from Finger for a career and technical degree or certificate program in architecture and construction, health science, hospitality and tourism, human services, law and public safety, information technology, and transportation distribution and logistics. Included in these fields are HVAC, plumbing, pharmacy technician, chef, welding, and maritime transportation (see application for a complete list). 

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October is College & Career Readiness Month

The Office of Strategy & Innovation is excited to announce HISD’s second annual College & Career Readiness Month in October. CCR Month is a fun and creative way to engage students and introduce them to a variety of college and career options. This year’s theme is “Take Control: Explore. Design. Launch Your Future!”   

Throughout the month, HISD will be sharing information on a variety of college and career programs and activities for all grades, including the Financial Aid Roadshow, Parent Night at selected HISD high schools (see list here for dates and times), Top-Tier College Night, Parent University, campus college fairs, Project Explore, and more. 

All HISD elementary, middle, and high school campuses will have a chance to compete for prizes (scholarships, college swag, college tours) by completing weekly challenges. Winners will be announced on Nov. 22, 2019. Campuses must complete at least one college and career activity each week, posting pictures and videos on Twitter. Contest details can be found on the College Readiness website at this link

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Unique after-school program at Hogg MS helps students excel on, off court

Students lead Welsh official on tour of Mission Squash  

Last year, as Heights High School sophomore Faustino Martinez struggled in his freshman biology class, little did he know that an after-school program centered around an obscure sport would propel him to success. 

Thanks to Mission Squash — a unique after-school program at Hogg Middle School that combines intense academic training, community service and participation in the elite racquet sport of squash — he passed his class with flying colors 

“For me, support is the most important part of the Mission Squash program,” Faustino said. “They helped me gain a true understanding of the subject, and that’s what really turned it around for me.” 

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Dual credit class connects students to community

Taking dual credit classes can be a daunting task, but Sonia Noyola at Northside High School has found a way to ease her students into the program by connecting their projects back to the community.  

Since she started teaching dual credit Government classes at Northside, Noyola’s students’ community awareness and empowerment projects have served as an extension of her dual credit classroom. 

Their latest project was S.H.I.N.E. (Spirit, Honor, Innovation, Nuance, Education) Fest, a student-led film competition held at Houston’s White Oak Music Hall that attracted submissions from several HISD schools and postsecondary institutions. The connection between these projects and the dual-credit course content is not lost on her students.   

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HISD seniors to receive associate degrees during HCC commencement ceremonies

On Friday, nearly 500 high school seniors from a dozen Houston Independent School District campuses will walk across the stage at Houston Community College commencement ceremonies to receive their associate degrees and work certifications.

The HISD students are enrolled in dual credit programs in the district’s Futures Academy and at early college high schools. The students simultaneously earned two years of college credits or valuable industry certifications in high-demand career fields – all at no cost to them.

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Senior recipients honored at Board of Education and Superintendent Scholarship Dinner

Houston Independent School District graduating seniors who have overcome odds and adversity to achieve their academic goals were honored at the annual HISD Superintendent and Board of Education Scholarship Dinner on Wednesday evening. 

At the dinner, which was held at the Cockrell Boy Scouts Center, each of the 46 award recipients and their families were treated to a dinner and reception hosted by ABC 13 reporter Stefania Okolie. Kinder HSPVA senior Racquel Leonard performed a gorgeous rendition of Disney’s “I’m Almost There.” 

After the performance, Leonard, who will attend Loyola University in the fall to study music, was surprised with her own HISD Superintendent and Board of Education Scholar Award. The scholarship, originally worth $2,000, was increased to $5,000 after HISD’s Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan learned that Leonard was short on her tuition.  

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At YWCPA, a red-carpet celebration of 100% senior college acceptances

It was a day of celebration as students at Houston Independent School District’s Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy held a red-carpet celebration in honor of 100% senior college acceptances on Thursday.  

During a special school-wide assembly, YWCPA students walked a red carpet to announce the institutions of higher learning where they will continue their academic careers. Some have been accepted to the nation’s most prestigious universities, including Bryn Mawr College, the University of Virginia, Berea College and Texas A&M University. 

“We are so excited and proud of you all,” YWCPA Principal April Williams said to a cheering crowd of students, parents and staff. “Always come back to visit us and help us to build upon that strong YWCPA spirit.” 

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HISD celebrates first-ever Academic College Signing Day

For the first time ever, HISD hosted Academic College Signing Day for the district’s top University Interscholastic League (UIL) Academics, Music, and One Act Play students.  

Nearly 190 students from 32 high schools signed ceremonial letters of intent in the presence of their families, teachers, and classmates.  

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