The Reach - Phi Theta Kappa's Blog

The Reach

All the latest information, news and stories to inspire and inform Phi Theta Kappa members

Practicing What They Preach

Practicing What They Preach

Phi Theta Kappa has long advocated for student success and the finances to make that possible. Now, staff members are taking a more hands-on approach – by helping local students and their parents to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Get2College, a Mississippi-based, non-profit organization, is working to assist families by hosting FAFSA completion days at local high schools and community centers throughout the state, where they sit down with families and help them complete and understand the FAFSA.

This fall Get2College staff is being joined by college admission and financial aid representatives and community partners such as Phi Theta Kappa in hosting FAFSA Completion Days in more than 200 high schools throughout the state.

Ten Phi Theta Kappa staff members — including CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner — received FAFSA training through Get2College in September and are now volunteering at local high schools and helping families fill out the FAFSA. 

“We can’t expect our members to participate in the Service Hallmark unless we set a good example,” Tincher-Ladner said.  

In the past the FAFSA form was not offered until January 1 of a student’s senior year, but this year it was made available on October 1. Completion of the FAFSA is the first step for a student to become eligible for federal grants, work-study and loans, plus some state, college and private monies.

Most families believe that they either do not qualify for a federal grant, or they think that the FAFSA is only for low-income families. As a result, many leave Pell and other funding resources untapped – up to $3 billion annually.

Scholarship Operations Specialist Laurie Brown said sending her last child off to college last year made her realize the importance of completing the FAFSA.

“With the potential for both federal and state aid hinging on the submission of this free process, we can impact so many kids who might not have had the opportunity to even think about college,” Brown said. “So far, I’ve worked with many excited high school seniors — they’re ready to face the next part of their educational journey, and for some, this FAFSA process is opening doors they didn’t realize were available to them.

“It feels good to give back through sharing my knowledge and encouraging them to reach further than they thought they could.”

Read more about the Get2College effort in the Clarion-Ledger newspaper.

Read Tincher-Ladner’s guest editorial about FAFSA in the Meridian Star newspaper.


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