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Workshop aims to clear up confusion about FAFSA

Angelina+Moro%C3%B1+Vega%2C+left%2C+sits+with+her+son%2C+Israel+Jacobo%2C+to+fill+out+the+Free+Application+for+Federal+Student+Aid+on+Wednesday.
Angelina Moroñ Vega, left, sits with her son, Israel Jacobo, to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid on Wednesday.

Angelina Moroñ Vega, left, sits with her son, Israel Jacobo, to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid on Wednesday.

Vanessa Landers

Vanessa Landers

Angelina Moroñ Vega, left, sits with her son, Israel Jacobo, to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid on Wednesday.

Vanessa Landers, Staff Writer

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Senior year can be a challenging one.

Not only do students juggle school with other activities, but they need to start planning what college to attend.

With that in mind, Chaparral High School’s Counseling department teamed up with UNLV Trio, Gear Up and Fulfillment Fund to host a workshop to assist families to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid on Wednesday.

“I tried [filling out the FAFSA] on Tuesday, but it got really complicated because it had to do with taxes and adult stuff,” senior Israel Jacobo said. “It can be a headache without someone who knows how to do it.”

Johnny Dominguez, a college counselor with Fulfillment Fund, can relate to how the students feel. He was a first-generation college graduate himself, so he understands how scary the process of applying for college and paying for it can be.

“It can be daunting when [parents are] not used to what these processes are like,” he said. “It can be overwhelming to the point where the parents might not have the support and guidance, and they might not be able to help student.”

Jacobo brought his mother, Angelina Moroñ Vega, to the workshop, who helped him fill out the forms and brought the appropriate documents.

“I wasn’t aware that there were programs like these nor did the school did workshops like these,” said Moroñ Vega in Spanish.

Moroñ Vega wants a better future for her son and sees FAFSA an opportunity to help pay for her son’s education. Her family is a one-income family with two other children to support, making it difficult to pay for college.

Moroñ Vega doesn’t want her son working during college and simply not worry about how to pay for it, which why she helped him fill out the FAFSA forms.

“School comes first,” she said.

Dominguez stressed that support begins at home. He added parents need to be aware of the process in order to help their children achieve their goals past high school.  

“We’re bringing the parents into the schools and have one-on-one conversations,” Dominguez said. “[We’re here to clear up] any type of misconception about college financial aid, what is the FAFSA, how does it work. So in the event, we’re not there, the parents are home to help the students understand as well.”

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Workshop aims to clear up confusion about FAFSA