A&M International Schedules First City-Wide Financial Aid Fair

Students and parents will be able to secure information on financial assistance for their higher education dreams at a day-long Financial Aid Fair scheduled Feb. 4 at Texas A&M International University.

Dubbed "We'll Show You the Money: Financial Aid Fair '99," the event will take place at A&M International on Thursday, Feb. 4 from 8:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. in the University's Kinesiology/Convocation Building.

University personnel will be joined by 12 state-wide financial lenders and servicers, including the largest student guarantee agency in Texas. All will be able to provide Fair-goers with on-the-spot information about assistance available.

Also on-site will be financial aid representatives of other colleges and universities including Texas A&M University, University of Texas-Pan American, Texas A&M University at Kingsville and Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.

Dr. Stephen Brown, dean of Student Affairs at A&M International, said the event is designed to get all community and area students and parents to begin the process of securing financial aid in order to make their entry into higher education more possible, regardless of their destination.

"Our goal is to be able to provide information to help students and their parents be aware of the avenues for assistance available. We'll help them to complete the forms necessary to begin their financial aid assistance package. We'll be able to transmit these forms electronically to help streamline the process. Lenders will discuss other options and members of the University financial aid office will be on hand to provide easy-to-understand answers to specific questions," he explained.

Brown noted that parents and students will also have access to a professional income tax preparer at the event who can provide personalized assistance from 5-8 p.m.

Area high school students will be scheduled to visit the campus throughout the day and a special evening series has been designed for parents and students from 5-8 p.m. Students from high schools throughout the area including Asherton, Benavides, Bruni, Hebbronville and Zapata, will be attending.

The event will include door prizes, refreshments, exhibits, a tour of the University and, in keeping with the event, a chance to receive scholarships to A&M International.

Dr. Brown said the event is part of the University's ongoing community outreach efforts to make financial aid and related information accessible to all students, no matter their higher education destination.

"As our event theme maintains, 'We'll Show You the Money.' With changes in financial and assistance programs, today a four-year college or university education is an important, attainable, and affordable option. "There is $60 billion available to students in financial aid from federal, state, local, and institutional sources to help them meet school expenses. Seven out of 10 full-time students qualify for financial aid. Here at A&M International, over 80 percent of students qualify for some form of financial assistance. " Brown explained.

He said the event came to being through the University's partnership with local and area high school counselors who are members of the University's Counselors Advisory Council.

"Their assistance in designing this program and helping to coordinate student visits to the campus has been invaluable and we are most appreciative of their support and diligent efforts to help students gain access to financial aid information," he observed.

For additional information on "We'll Show You the Money: Financial Aid Fair '99" at Texas A&M International University, please contact the Financial Aid Department at 326.2225

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu