FAFSA information available at Financial Aid Night on Jan. 26

Elizondo wants students to understand the simplicity of the FAFSA process.

Elizondo wants students to understand the simplicity of the FAFSA process.

By Davion Smith, Staff Writer

Financial Aid Night will take place on January 26th from 6 to 8 pm. On-campus college adviser Carlos Elizondo is hosting the night to inform students and parents alike about the financial aid process. The main topic covered will be FAFSA, which is the free application for federal student aid from the government; there will also be an opportunity for students

Though the application is free, Elizondo said that many students do not fill out the form in fear that they will not receive any aid, for whatever reason. This is one of the many myths that Elizondo will address at the session.

“You never know how much money you’re going to get,” said Elizondo. “Some students parents are middle class and they still get scholarships.”

Another fear students might have is the fear of not being able to receive money because of their citizenship status. Elizondo said that there is an alternative called TAFSA for these circumstances

“TAFSA is for people who might not be citizens yet and will be also discussed on FAFSA Night,”

With college tuition growing each year,  Elizondo stresses the importance of taking the time to come to FAFSA Night to become familiar with the process.

“We all don’t have $25,000 sitting in our pockets for every semester,” Elizondo said. “So this how you bring down the cost of attendance. You have to do this for the next four years and even longer if you go to grad school.”

Elizondo said that this process is one of the responsibilities that high school seniors will face as they become more independent.

“You’re going to be adults,” Elizondo said. “You need to start taking responsibility for yourself.”

Elizondo reflects back on his senior year when he faced the same task. At that time there was less information available about this vital resource for students.

“I didn’t know much [about FAFSA] until I had to learn it, which is the point that all seniors are at,” Elizondo said. “If I had known more about it or done some more research, it would have been very beneficial for me and possibly could’ve saved my parents’ money.”

Because of his experiences, he is even more determined to ensure that students can afford their education. He knows that by getting students closer to college, he is also helping them get closer to their dreams.

“I love the excitement and the look in the eye of the students when they say that they can actually afford college,” Elizondo said. “Their whole lives, people tell them they can’t or that it’s a waste of money, but I help them realize that it possible. They can actually show up on campus in burnt orange, or maroon, or whatever their school colors are, and they can really change their life. Changing somebody’s life is very rewarding.”