Ticket to College Workshops
Applying to college, taking placement tests and applying for financial aid can seem daunting. To help students feel more confident in fulfilling these requirements, SFCC partnered with Opportunity Santa Fe to launch free Ticket to College workshops. Opportunity Santa Fe works with community partners to improve the lives of Santa Fe youth, from birth until they enter a career.
SFCC Director of Recruitment and Dual Credit Marcos Maez coordinates the half-day workshops. Testing staff, financial aid advisors and recruitment specialists assist students and family members in filling out the necessary forms. Maez said, “For many students — particularly first-generation students — going through the admissions process can be intimidating.” Gathering the documents to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) can be the biggest hurdle (Social Security number, their tax information, their parents’ tax statements, etc.). Creating a FAFSA ID, setting up multiple security questions, and saving a password can seem difficult, he added.
Many students have never discussed their interest in college or inquired directly about finances with their family. A student might be embarrassed to say that a parent is unemployed. This fact, however, might reveal the student’s financial need and open doors to financial aid. The Ticket to College team assists in filling out the forms without judgment. Student Employee Program Manager Susie Weaver explained, “We try to break down perceived barriers and help them get comfortable by saying, ‘We’re here to help you get money for college.’”
Thus far, 170 Santa Fe High and Capital High students, many of whom are first-generation, have benefitted from the Ticket to College program, which continues this fall.
For more information about upcoming Ticket To College Workshops, contact Director of Recruitment & Dual Credit Marcos Maez, firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-428-1779.