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SLHS wins FAFSA Most InnovativePlayer award for second time

FAFSA Fiesta student fills out form San Luis High School continues making a state-wide impact in getting their students prepared for their academic future after graduation. 

For the third time in the past 12 months, the school has been recognized by the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education for its work towards increasing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) student completion rate. 

Governor Doug Ducey’s Office of Education, and the Arizona FAF$A Challenge announced Tuesday that San Luis High School was awarded the October 2020 Most Innovative Player recognition. The award is a state recognition for going “above and beyond” to increase FAFSA completion rate at the school and “ensure more Arizona students are equipped to pursue postsecondary success.”

“During the pandemic the counseling department had to come up with innovative ideas and tutorials for any student to follow along on how to create their Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID and complete the FAFSA application,” SLHS Counseling Director Cesar Castillo said. “This has become a school culture where our current English teachers with the FAFSA expertise of our counselor, Carmen Castaneda, and Dropout Prevention Specialist Rigo Conde and concurrent support from Arizona Western College work with our seniors through the month of October to help them complete their Financial Aid process.”

To help support the process, the counseling department held a socially-distanced, drive-up “FAFSA Fiesta” in October, which led to more than 120 seniors completing their form. The team has also embarked on a social media campaign from their official counseling Facebook page, including sharing viral videos of the FAFSA “dos and donts,” among other content pieces.  

Last year, SLHS was presented with the Arizona FAFSA Challenge MVP award for Highest FAFSA Completion Rate in the state in the large school category. The school also won the Most Innovative Player award in December 2019.

Eric Patten
epatten@yumaunion.org