Students file for financial aid on Super Saturday


McALLEN — Colleges and Universities combined their efforts on Saturday to help Rio Grande Valley students to apply for aid for the 2017-2018 school year.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, South Texas College, Texas Southmost College, and Texas State Technical College offered assistance to students in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) on what was labeled ‘Super Saturday.’

Super Saturday began with RGV Focus, a nonprofit organization and initiative that encourages college readiness for high school students to receive a higher education.

Jael Garcia, UTRGV Associate Director of Financial Aid, was one of the board members who was available to assist students and inform parents.

“ We are basically helping students and parents to complete their financial aid applications.” Garcia said.

The event was to encourage students to go to college and have a smoother process in admittance within any college and universities in the Rio Grande Valley.

In Oct. 2016, FAFSA opened the application process to all college and universities students to apply earlier than previous years. Since the changed occurred, the previous year’s tax return can be used as proof of income instead of the current tax return.

The FAFSA is a federal aid that is only offered to U.S. residents and TASFA is a state of Texas aid that is only offered to non-citizens classified as Texas Residents.

Edinburg’s Mariano Cortez, 19, began the FAFSA at home and went to the event for guidance and made sure the information was correct.

Another student, Vanesa Lisbeth Salas Sanchez, 18 from San Juan attended with her dad, Sergio Salas to fill out the TASFA.

“ I came to it to get the right help.” Salas-Sanchez said.

UTRGV students who are AmeriCorps members were also on hand to help the students with the applications.

The event also included assistance of a tax preparer. La Union del Pueblo Entero, or LUPE, and the Mexican Consulate were available to aid students. UTRGV also raffled four scholarships, two for the Edinburg and two for the Brownsville Campus of $100 each.