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San Luis and Gila Ridge recognized in AZ FAFSA competition

San Luis High School and Gila Ridge High School earned first place in two different categories in the Arizona Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Challenge for the 2022-23 school year.

San Luis received first place in the highest FAFSA overall completion rate among large schools in Arizona with 71 percent of the school’s seniors completing their FAFSA. The average state FAFSA completion rate is 34 percent. This is the third time in the last four years that San Luis has brought home a state championship in the FAFSA competition. 

“The planning that starts in July with Arizona Western College, teachers and staff is one of the reasons we are able to coordinate and do great things,” SLHS Guidance Director Cesar Castillo said. “It takes a team effort. Our administrators, teachers, counselors, students, Earn to Learn team members and migrant advisors all get things done to help our students thrive.”

Gila Ridge received first place in the most improved FAFSA completion rate compared to last year with an increase of 15 percent.

“This year the counseling office set a goal to help students prepare for postsecondary options and increase the number of students who complete their FAFSAs,” GRHS Guidance Director Anastasia Dawson said. “The dedicated staff of counselors, Next Steps Advisors, and our support staff have helped Gila Ridge students navigate their next steps in life.”

The AZ FAFSA Challenge is put on by the Arizona Board of Regents and The Governor’s Office of Education to encourage schools around Arizona to push their seniors to complete the FAFSA application. 

San Luis and Gila Ridge will receive three new laptops for students as part of their FAFSA awards. 

Yuma Union High School District counselors typically meet with seniors at least twice a year, discuss plans and pathways for after high school, and help students connect with college, university, and military representatives.

Lesley Avila