TAMIU Ready to Host Popular Financial Aid Fair March 4

Laredo's most popular and only city-wide Financial Aid Fair will be held at Texas A&M International University on Tuesday, March 4 at the University's Student Center Ballroom, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m.

Since its inception in 1999, the program has become one of the University's most popular community outreach events, said Laura Elizondo, TAMIU's Director of Financial Aid.

"We continue to be very impressed with the level of interest and participation in this event. Last year, we attracted over 2,500 students and parents and this year, we've already received advance requests from over 1,500 students," Elizondo said.

Elizondo said the event is important because it provides both students and parents with a variety of helpful information.

"For example, we have awarded over $14 million in financial aid to our students last year and participants can learn how to apply for this assistance," she said, "We'll have over 17 lenders on hand to provide information on loan programs. Representatives from other agencies will be on hand, including the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation."

"We'll also show participants how changes in federal assistance programs, scholarships and other programs can insure that a University degree is within every student's grasp. Several local and regional scholarship providers have been asked to join us for the event. We'll also be able to help people with the necessary paperwork for financial assistance and even electronically transmit information to help speed the process," she explained.

Elizondo said the University is committed to the program and to easing access to financial aid information and programs for all Laredoans. She said the majority of TAMIU students receive financial aid in the form of scholarships, loans, grants or work-study programs.

"Over 80% of students this Spring semester are tapping into the assistance that financial aid can provide. They know that higher education is the key to our community's and region's continued success. Having access to this information can help them and their family secure their higher education. We are proud to be able to provide this information and eager to work with all students to help them to realize their dreams of a higher education," she said.

"It's also an ideal time for parents and students to explore the options available to them so that they can be ready for either Summer or Fall enrollment at the University of their choice," she noted.

Other schools participating in the event will include: St. Mary's University, Texas A&M University -Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, University of Texas -Austin, University of Texas-Pan American, Our Lady of the Lake University, and Texas A&M University-Commerce.

All participants will also have an opportunity to register for prizes, including scholarships. Refreshments will also be served.

For additional information, contact the Financial Aid Office at 326.2225, visit the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 158, e-mail to laura@tamiu.edu or visit the University's home page at www.tamiu.edu.

Office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursdays.

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