Parish school board to host parent financial aid meeting

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, September 4, 2013

VIDALIA — Miss-Lou parents looking for funding for their children’s secondary education costs will have an opportunity to be tutored on financial aid options later this month.

The Concordia Parish School board will host a parent financial aid meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16.

Parental involvement coordinator Debra Harris said she will be discussing the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, or TOPS, that offers state scholarships for Louisiana residents who attend Louisiana public colleges and universities or other community and technical colleges in the state.

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“Even if a student is convinced they’re going to go into the labor force instead of going the university route, they may change their minds, and this way the parents will be aware of the opportunities that are available,” Harris said. “We encourage all parents to attend and get the necessary information for any and all financial aid for juniors and seniors.”

In order to qualify for TOPS, Louisiana students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 and have an ACT score of 20 or an SAT score of 940, among meeting other application requirements.

Apart from the state financial opportunities, Harris said she will also provide parents with information about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which determines a student’s financial aid eligibility.

“We encourage all residents of Louisiana and even those from Mississippi are welcome to come as well because we’ll be giving them tips on how to complete and submit all the FAFSA forms,” Harris said. “With this form, parents can apply for various grants, loans and even work study financial aid.”

Harris said the first meeting will be mainly informational and that additional meetings will be offered in January or February that help complete the application process for parents.

“Parents can’t really complete the FAFSA until they have their tax income forms, so this will just be a basic informational meeting at first,” Harris said. “The counselors will then be able to come back and readdress with the parents some of the more specifics on the forms next year.”

The meeting will be hosted at the central administration building on U.S. 84 next to the Vidalia municipal complex.