The innovative Player award recognizes Arizona high schools throughout the school year for their innovative efforts and work in FAFSA completion. read about the FAFSA best practices that have encouraged the seniors of Youngker High School to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
FAFSA Best Practices
Underclassmen Financial Aid Presentations: We present to underclassmen on the benefits of scholarships, financial aid and education on what the FAFSA application is.
Future Ready Class- Future Ready is a required CTE class for juniors to take to learn about and map out their future. Budgeting and financial planning are big part of the curriculum and where we spend time educating our juniors on the importance of FAFSA and timelines to prepare for senior year.
Senior Family Night – Gear Up hosts a huge Senior & Family Night at the beginning of the school year to review with the seniors and educate the parents on post-secondary paths, scholarships and FAFSA. Parents sign up for future FAFSA application workshops during this event.
Launch Guide Use and Orientation – The Launch Guide is a one stop shop booklet that every senior receives at the beginning of their senior year, and it is also referenced as a virtual launch guide throughout their junior Future Ready class. The booklet (guide) helps seniors keep track of timelines, steps, and deadlines for all pathways, as well as supplies information on college applications, scholarships and FAFSA. We reference the Launch Guide throughout the year to keep seniors on track with postsecondary steps.
Host FSAID workshops – We host FSAID workshops in late September close to October 1st. Seniors use their Launch Guides to keep track of what they need to create an FSAID and next steps to prepare them once the FAFSA application opens.
Host several FAFSA Application Workshops – We kickoff the opening of the FAFSA application with a night event in early October and keep on scheduling FAFSA application workshops throughout the year! These workshops are done in small group, one on one, in person, virtually or over the phone! We meet the needs of the student and family to make it as convenient as possible to complete the FAFSA.
Senior check-ins during November – We check in with seniors through Government classes to see where they are in the process and help them with the next steps. If students haven’t done the FAFSA yet, we get them started.& If they have completed the FAFSA, we work on college or scholarship applications.
Student Promotion – Gear Up submits weekly announcements to be advertised over the school-wide PA system every Monday to showcase how many seniors are completing the FAFSA and again on Fridays to announce our FAFSA Friday Winners to win cool swag. We also have FAFSA posters all over campus and connect with students on a text messaging app called Signal Vine for reminders on upcoming FAFSA events.
Parent Promotion – Honestly, our YHS family culture is old school, and we rely on good ole’ fashion email and text messages to communicate with our parents! We email parents information they are super excited about (like ordering cap and gowns) and piggyback with FAFSA application workshop sign up links. Once parents sign up, we text them reminders of the date, time, location and what to bring!