In a weekly series, Ed Trust–NY will highlight New York FAFSA Challenge Winners for the 2021-2022 school year and the promising strategies they used to support more students to complete the FAFSA.
The Academy Charter High School began supporting the Class of 2022 and families with FAFSA completion in May 2021. The college counselor met with students and families individually to review the family’s eligibility for aid, discuss estimated financial aid, and eligibility for opportunity programs. In October 2021, college counselors began meeting with families in small groups and provided guidance on how to access and complete the FAFSA. Small group and individual family meetings continued into January 2022 to help ensure students were completing the FAFSA to access the aid they are entitled to. College counselors also hosted financial aid review workshops and individual meetings so that students could be supported in analyzing their aid packages. Each scholar had a tailored checklist to help counselors supporting them.
Louai, who will receive the FAFSA Challenge scholarship, will graduate as the Valedictorian of the Class of 2022. He will attend New York University and study computer engineering. Louai was an incredibly active member of the school community and was integral to building a positive student culture. He participated in National Honor Society, Peer Tutoring, and Spanish Honor Society. Additionally, Louai has a love for technology.