Group Urging Tulsa Students To Apply For College Financial Aid
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa-area high school students leave an estimated $15 million in scholarship money unclaimed by not filling out a key piece of paperwork.
That's why there's a new group urging students to fill out the FAFSA.
Only half of our high school graduates fill out the one form required for all government scholarships and loans.
It's a new partnership between the city and schools that has Mayor G.T. Bynum urging students to at least try for college financial aid.
“It's in the poorer parts of our city where it's most needed, where they have the lowest participation rates, so, we wanted to do this to focus, in particular, on those areas,” Bynum said.
About half of Tulsa's high school graduates do not fill out the form - leaving behind millions in available dollars, which would especially help lower income families afford college.
But, regardless if someone qualifies, almost all colleges require it.
Brett Campbell with the Tulsa Regional Chamber said, “FAFSA is so much more than just Pell Grants. For most institutions, it's the doorway to open up scholarships, and Tulsa Achieves for Tulsa Community College, as well as loans.”
The data analysis done by Impact Tulsa identified FAFSA as a key hurdle limiting opportunity for Tulsa students.
"Every time a student doesn't fill out FAFSA, that's money left behind not just for post-secondary education but also for students to thrive and meet the challenges of the workforce in today's global economy," said Dr. Kathy Seibold with Impact Tulsa.
In the Tulsa suburbs, Union has the most applications submitted so far this year - just a few more than Broken Arrow.
In the city, Booker T. has the most submitted, with Edison, Bishop Kelley second and third, Memorial fourth.
Educators said the opportunity starts with simply filling out the form.
"Pretty much every financial aid opportunity a student will encounter requires FAFSA to be completed," said Seibold.