Preparing students to be ready for college and life includes helping them think about all aspects of their college and career choice— including finances and how they will pay for college.
So each year, LEAD Academy High School (LAHS) hosts a Financial Aid Night for seniors and families to get one-on-one assistance in filling out key financial aid forms like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA.
Seniors in the LAHS Class of 2020 and their families, as well as LEAD alumni in college, worked with representatives from Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation and Conexión Américas to fill out the FAFSA or other forms that are critical to receiving financial aid for college.
“Financial Aid Night is always popular with our parents, and many take time away from jobs and other responsibilities to come.” said Kelly Pietkiewicz, LEAD Academy college counselor. “But what I love most is seeing our students and alumni take ownership of this important step and make sure their FAFSA is done and done right.”
The FAFSA is necessary not only for federal financial aid, but many other scholarships also require it, including TNPromise, the state’s last-dollar scholarship that covers two years of tuition and fees.
Before students arrive for their financial aid appointment, they have already learned about the FAFSA in College Seminar and walked through what they will need to complete it.
“I need to get my financial aid package and I need to get the most out of it I can— so whatever needs to be done, I will do it,” said LEAD Academy senior Fredric Hovi.
The event is also open to LEAD alumni, and the event brings past LEAD Academy grads back to ensure they renew their FAFSA correctly— something they must do each year they are in college.
“I need to guarantee to do it right the first time, and I come early every time so I can get it done,” said LEAD Academy graduate and current Tennessee State University student Ansona Donelson ‘16 (pictured above with Courtney McEwen, LAHS’s Dean of Culture). “It’s important to get the extra help so you don’t have to go through financial aid issues. Come and get it done the first time.”