Filling out FAFSA becomes grad requirement: why?

Diego Palomares

Crimson Chronicle Reporter

Seniors should have turned in their FAFSA applications to receive financial aid for college, especially since it has now become the latest graduation requirement. However, what will happen to students who have other plans instead of going to college? Will they still be able to walk the stage later this year?

The answer: maybe. Catrisa Booker, assistant principal, said that the school is asking all seniors to complete their FAFSA forms to walk the stage this year. However, she added that there will be an appeals process set in place if they are unable to complete it, which requires a meeting with an administrator.

“I think it’s a good thing because not everyone wants to go to college,” says Kai O’Toole-Roque, PAM senior. “Since there are people who don’t have interest in going to college, it means that FAFSA is pointless for them and it only creates unnecessary stress.”

Booker clarified that the new addition to the list of graduation requirements has nothing to do with economically benefiting the school, as does high attendance. The school receives a lot of funding, and the main motive for this change has to do with getting students to take these opportunities that will help them further their educational careers. In any case, students can still apply for financial aid next year if they change their minds.

“It’s important to walk the stage and for students to receive financial aid,” she said. “We want students to take advantage of free money for college.”

Hollywood High School, Dorsey High School, Hawkins High School, and many others formed part of a pilot program known as the breakthrough campaign. “We would try to use multiple techniques to reach out to kids in order to complete their fafsa,” said Kimberly Fabian Marquez, college and career advisor. “Hollywood was the most successful breakthrough school.” This year, 95 % of seniors applied for financial aid, a 20% increase from last year’s senior class.

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