Grand County High School (GCHS) held a “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA) night on Wednesday, Oct. 25 for students who need assistance applying for college financial aid. Student counselor Derrick Cook and a FAFSA representative attended the event, which assisted approximately 20 students in applying for financial aid for college.
Many students apply for FAFSA in order to reduce the cost of college tuition after graduating from high school.
“I have been talking to a few colleges in and out Utah about playing softball for their school so that I could receive a sport scholarship,” Grand County senior Tyra Robertson said. “I’m applying to FAFSA because I know it will reduce my overall tuition cost. Honestly I need all the help I can get. College tuition is so high there is almost no way I won’t be graduating with some form of debt.”
Robertson said she has been considering several colleges including Lamar Community College and Colorado Northwestern Community College.
“As of right now I am planning on majoring in psychology and seeing where it goes from there ... none of my plans are incredibly cemented as of right now.” Robertson said.
Other students are relying on FAFSA as their main source to pay for tuition.
“I am only planning on applying to the University of Utah and FAFSA is the only guaranteed financial support I will be receiving,” senior Juan Salazar said. “I play soccer for the boys’ team at the high school but I wouldn’t be able to play for (the Utes) by any means. So there isn’t really an opportunity for me to receive a sports scholarship. Academic scholarships are also out of reach. Since (Utah) is a bigger school you likely won’t get any scholarships unless you have a 4.0 GPA and a really high ACT score.”
Salazar added that receiving financial aid would be imperative to continuing into the profession of his choice.
“FAFSA is really the only opportunity for me to reduce my tuition cost. Even then I’ll still have to find ways to pay for my housing,” Salazar said. “I have an interest in going into health care and/or finance. During the third trimester this year ... I plan to take a nursing class that will give me the certification to be a nurses assistant.”
The GCHS counseling department is also trying to provide other scholarship opportunities for students and Cook has been encouraging students to apply for local scholarships that can help them reduce the cost of tuition incrementally.