UTRGV to help families with financial aid, college applications, March 5

BY Jennifer L. Berghom

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is teaming up with RGV Focus and other Valley institutions of higher education to host Super Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 5.

The day’s goal is to welcome the community and current students to its Edinburg and Brownsville campuses and help them with the process of applying for college and financial aid.

UTRGV’s Super Saturday events will be at the Main Building, One West University Blvd., on the Brownsville Campus, and at the Visitors Center, 1201 W. University Drive, on the Edinburg Campus.

“We want to be able to offer a well-rounded event so families can get an experience of what the university is like,” said Barbara Jean Garza, UTRGV director of P-16 outreach.

At the daylong event, people will receive one-on-one assistance with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA), and other forms required in applying for college.

Both campuses will have computer labs open for students to complete FAFSA/TASFA forms and apply to college. There also will be campus tours at both locations, along with workshops on financial literacy, college success and other information that will help students navigate their way to and through college.

“We want them to come to college and we want to offer them the best available avenue to do it,” Garza said. “If they have questions, or if they just want to go and see a university or college, this is the day to do it because all of the sites are going to be on-board that day, to provide that kind of support throughout the Valley.

At the Edinburg Campus, there will be free tax preparation services offered by VITA and AARP, free notary services, a college department and club fair where students can receive information about UTRGV, door prizes and a scholarship drawing. Child care will be provided at the Edinburg Campus.

Garza said the university encourages current UTRGV students to attend so they can get help with filling out the financial aid forms and have the opportunity to win a scholarship.

Participants – either the parents of current and prospective students or the students themselves, if they are not dependents — are asked to bring their completed 2015 tax returns and W2 statements. Those who haven’t completed their tax returns are asked to bring their W2 statements and other forms showing income, including 1099 and Social Security statements.

South Texas College, Texas State Technical College and Texas Southmost College also are hosting Super Saturday events.

For more information, call UTRGV P-16 Outreach at (956) 665-7597, or email fafsasupersaturday@cftexas.org.