Samantha Huerta/Staff Writer
The third annual South Texas Financial Aid Fair will take place Friday, February 24th at the Channel 3 KIII studio and parking lot at 5002 South Padre Island Drive (SPID). The fair will be hosted by KIII news studio and local Coastal Bend colleges; Del Mar College, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University Kingsville, Texas A&M College Station and Coastal Bend College.
The fair will feature mobile Go Centers out in the parking lot. The mobile centers will have computers inside to help fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The studio’s second story will feature more computers for students to utilize alongside advisers to give them a hand. The financial aid assistants said that financial aid is not a term in everyone’s daily vocabulary; this is why they will be there on hand to assist anyone with questions ranging from “what is financial aid” to “when will I receive it?”
The South Texas Financial Aid Fair began as the “College Goal Sunday” event, organized in part by Joseph Ruiz, TAMUCC Financial Aid adviser, who has been involved in the program for over six years.
Within the six years, he had never been able to attract as many people as planned. Ruiz said, “We hosted it at the mall for six years, and only attracted over three hundred families altogether combined, but in the past two years, we have gained around six hundred people.”
Henry Garcia, Del Mar College financial aid adviser teamed up with Ruiz and together they consulted with KIII news studio.
Ruiz said, “KIII was more than happy to help us out, I am so grateful they have been so kind, and even let us stream live once a week with information about the fair.” All participants must bring their 2011 tax return or their parent’s tax return, W-2 forms and any other household income information for either the students and for parents.
A Del Mar College financial aid assistant, Mary Pena said, “ I encourage each and every one who has not filled out their FAFSA to attend, not just for Del Mar, but also if you are planning to transfer to a University.”
For more questions go online to the KII website at KIIItv.com or call Del Mar Financial Aid services at 361-698-1293.