In recognition of high school seniors who have exemplified great character and resilience, the Houston Independent School District is launching the HISD Superintendent and Board of Education Scholar Award – a scholarship of $5,000 or $2,000 awarded to one senior from every HISD high school.
This scholarship is designed for students who face hardships or challenges that may make higher education or career/vocational training difficult or even impossible to attain without assistance. The goal of the award – HISD’s first districtwide scholarship initiative for all high school students – is to remove as many obstacles as possible so that students can pursue higher education opportunities. Continue reading →
Graduating seniors from five HISD high schools collectively received more than $20,000 in scholarships from the Texas Legislative Black Caucus (TLBC), including Madison High School valedictorian Luis Piñeda, salutatorian Idalia Castro, and two of their classmates: James Russell Jr. and Cherish Spears.
Other HISD students who received TMBC scholarships this year are: Decory Edwards (Waltrip HS); Giovanni Johnson (Kashmere HS); Michael Suber (Leland College Prep Academy); and Dillon Kennedy, Sheary Mandapat, James Pierce II, and Brittany Spriggs (Washington HS).
TLBC scholarships range from $1,500 to $4,000 for qualified high school students from across the state. To see a complete list of recipients for 2015, please visit the TLBC website.
About 450 HISD students attended the 2015 Black College Expo Tour on Saturday, Feb. 28, and a fair amount of those students received “on the spot acceptances,” as well as more than $250,000 in scholarship money.
On Feb. 7, hundreds of graduating seniors from around the Houston area got the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to go to college for free, and play their sport of choice, too.
The Greater Houston Senior Football Showcase took place at the NRG Stadium’s practice bubble from 8:30 a.m. until noon, and male students from dozens of local campuses—including almost every high school in HISD—had a chance to land an academic scholarship there just by giving a demonstration of their skills on the football field. Continue reading →
It’s not too late to apply for free financial aid from the federal government
HISD high schools across the district hosted HISD’s second-annual FAFSA Day on Thurs., Feb. 19. Administrators, staff, and volunteers were on hand at 22 area schools to assist students and their parents complete the application accurately and on time.
HISD partnered with Neighborhood Centers, which provided volunteers to help parents file their income tax returns. The family’s financial information is used to calculate the “Expected Family Contribution,” a key factor in the assessment of how much each family is expected to contribute and how much financial aid they will receive. Once students had their parents’ finalized tax information, they could get assistance with their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application at the same location.
“I came here to do my taxes, so I would be able to file my FAFSA for college,” said Sharpstown senior Preston Seymore. “After I graduate, I’m going to HCC to get my fire and EMT training. This is a wonderful thing, and I recommend that every school have a group of people come out and help students like this.”
Undocumented students are also eligible to receive state aid, but they will need to fill out the TASFA (Texas Application for State Financial Aid), which was created for students who do not have a Social Security number and are not eligible for federal student aid. See Houston FAFSA, a communitywide effort to help high school seniors and their families, for more information.
“Completing the FAFSA is an important step in ensuring college enrollment among our students,” said David Johnston, director of the HISD College Readiness Team. “In fact, seniors who complete the FAFSA are 90 percent more likely to attend college than those who don’t.”
Once students have completed the FAFSA or TASFA application, the colleges they have applied to AND received acceptance letters from will begin to put together a financial aid package for them.
“Deadlines for financial aid vary from school to school, so unfortunately there’s not really a hard deadline,” said College Readiness Specialist Derick Hutchinson. “It really depends on the school the student is going to as to the deadline. But students should always apply for FAFSA before the priority deadline to ensure that it is processed in time for the start of the fall semester.”
For most colleges, the FAFSA priority deadline is March 15, 2015. Although students can apply anytime, grant funding is limited, and colleges cannot guarantee their financial aid award will be processed by the start of the fall semester.
There are thousands of college scholarships out there, but the U.S. government is by far the largest provider of student financial aid. FAFSA gives students access to $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds.
For questions, please contact your high school campus or the HISD College Readiness Dept. at 713-556-7196. Be sure to visit the HISD FAFSA/TAFSA website here.
It doesn’t matter if your child is 4 or 14, it’s never too early to start planning for college.
That’s the message Houston Independent School District College Readiness Manager Yolanda Norman is spreading this October as the district celebrates College Readiness Month.
College Readiness Month is designed to get students thinking about college and prepare them to not just gain admission, but complete a degree and graduate. The goal, Norman said is to get students thinking critically about their future and long-term plans.
Leadership, initiative, community service, and setting realistic goals are a few of the things that the Broad scholarship review committee will be looking for when it reviews applications this spring.
HISD graduates will be applying for $550,000 in scholarships from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, thanks to the district winning this year’s Broad Prize and being named top urban school district in the country. Although the prize recognizes HISD’s efforts as a whole, the direct beneficiaries are students.
Eight seniors from seven high schools throughout the Houston Independent School District have qualified as semifinalists in the prestigious National Achievement Scholarship Program.
The National Achievement Scholarship Program is a privately funded academic competition created in 1964 to recognize and provide scholarships to academically promising African-American students across the country. It is conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and works in concert with the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Scholarship offers for the Class of 2013 continue to pour in. As of this week, HISD’s most recent graduates had been offered $186 million in college scholarships – a new record for the district.
“We expect that number to increase even more over the next few months as students continue to receive word about different scholarships they have applied for,” said Alan Summers, Assistant Superintendent of College and Career Readiness.