College-aspiring students from schools throughout Congressional District Texas-29 attended Congressman Gene Green’s annual “Paying for College Workshop” held last Monday night, February 22nd at MacArthur High School in Aldine.
Sponsors of the workshop were Congressman Green, Project GRAD Houston, and the Sallie Mae Fund.
At the free college preparation seminar, students learned about the federal financial aid process, scholarships, loans and other ways of paying for college. Speaking to students and families who had gathered in the auditorium were Sergio Gonzales, of Sallie Mae, and Romero Franseco of CafeCollege.
In addition to the speakers who provided valuable information, several local colleges had booths in the lobby with specific information for their schools. These included Texas Southern University, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College, and the University of Houston.
These schools also provided scholarships to attendees. Through a drawing, the University of Houston awarded three $1000 scholarships, TSU awarded three $1000 scholarships, and San Jacinto College awarded one scholarship at $250.
Speaker Romero Franseco gave a detailed overview of the CafeCollege, a resource for high school students from all schools. It has been set up in the Carnegie Library, on Quitman Street across from the Northside High School. It provides information and counseling to students interested in knowing more about individual colleges, and programs that they might pursue. No appointment is necessary, it is a “walk-in” facility, Francesco said.
Another speaker was Sergio Gonzales of Sallie Mae, who spoke about the various financial aid programs provided by the federal government. Some are scholarships, and some are loans. Well known programs include Pell grants, and others. Gonzales said that to apply for any federal grant or loan, you must first fill out and submit a form know as FAFSA. He explained some of the requirements and preparation students must make to apply successfully.
Congressman Green, State Senator Sylvia Garcia, and State Representative Armando Walle were all present at the meeting. They indicated if a family needed assistance applying for college, they could call their office for help.