Wednesday, March 12, 2008

TAFSA Form lost in spiderwebs


It is definitely not a surprise for University of Houston students to deal with its unfriendly administration, and that is putting it nicely.
As a student there I know how bad the university screws students over and over again. Can you imagine what being a DREAMER student there is like? Well, being one... has being a great experience, but it becomes a challenge to survive the administration.

Don't get me wrong, I love my university, but if you go around asking students about the administration in financial aid, admissions, counseling, advising, especially FINANCIAL AID, they will tell you many stories, a great number of them not good ones.

Today i made a phone call to the financial aid office at the University of Houston and i was not surprised that the TAFSA form is not available online on the UH website. They were not able to tell me either when it would be uploaded. The TAFSA form is the special form that us, HB1403/SB1528 have to fill out instead of the FAFSA form. You see, this is in Texas colleges and universities and the TAFSA has given great results for a great number of universities and colleges across Texas. Many of the advocates involved in designing this form have helped us so much- they spent so much time designing this form to make it easier for administrations to work with students like us. It has worked for the most part.

However, there are universities like the University of Houston who do not want its students to apply for the Texas Grant under the TAFSA form thus making it almost impossible to find. Not to mention, it has become a habit in the past for the financial aid employees to lose the applications once you submit them. I dont think that they realize that they are playing with people's lives here. Last semester a fellow DREAMER was left without money because the University of Houston employee lost the application! She did not go to school that semester needless to say.

I understand that we are much luckier here in Texas to have access to these types of resources. I also understand that many DREAMER's in other states don't have access to any of this, but losing applications, making it hard for DREAMERS to find these forms is definitely not a coincidence.

The new 2008-2009 TAFSA form is now accessible here. Download it, fill it out and make copies of what you will turn it. Also, when you turn it in personally, because, yes... we have to turn it in personally ask the financial aid advisor to sign it before you leave.

15 comments:

Poly Muthumbi said...

Do not blindly fill FAFSA FORM because there are so many documents and information you are expected to have at hand. Therefore, you need to get more information on what is required first, the conditions you should expect and what you should carry with you. The form is the main determinant of your Federal financial help.

Marie-Theresa Hernández said...

Thank you for your comment.

I would also suggest that the student follow the path of their financial aide application very carefully - and check in regularly with your college financial aide office.

Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Anonymous said...

Was it hard getting into college via the TAFSA way? Where there any difficulties trying to go to college? I'm just thinking about going to university in mexico, rather than go through the trouble of staying here.

Anonymous said...

Wow, and I thought I was the only one...
This whole year I had to pay tuition out of pocket at UH because some genius at the Financial Aid office lost one of the papers in my TAFSA application. When I found out, they claimed it was my fault for not checking my To-DO list in peoplesoft (Who checks that?)
I showed them my signed copy, which was complete, and they still shrugged it off.

Anonymous said...

I believe illegal immigrants should be ineligible to receive financial aid from a proverbial bucket into which they have paid little to no money.
On a less personal note, most often student lie on these applications and are therefore given little to know aide. Just be honest on this application and to the university officials and you will receive the aide.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should have an equal oportunity to go to college, I don't think everyone has the money to pay for college out of pocket. We not only have to work, study for school but also pay bills! People aren't aware of all the struggles illegal immigrants like me go through, I wish people would think for a second of all the closed doors we face every day because of our status.

Manuel said...

I'm in a similar situation right now. I've called various times to the financial aid office and asked them what I needed to fill out ANYTHING else or if there was ANY problem because I had filled out a FAFSA. They kept telling me everything was fine. It wasn't until the third time that I called that they told me that I needed to fill out a TAFSA now that it's most likely too late.

Anonymous said...

I don't think its fair that as a legal resident, and tax payer, that I should have to cover the cost of an illegal immigrant attending school. Evan as a legal resident and tax payer, I get little to know financial assistance; so why should I continue to shell out money to a group of people who are in my country illegally. The truth of the matter is an illegal immigrant is just that, an illegal. One who has broken a law. If I were to break a law, even it was out of need, I'd go to jail, case closed. Why are we forced to make exceptions for other.

Legal Texas resident

Alba Ruiz said...

tafsa is a great application. and i just want to go to school and have a great job and i dont appreciate those comments about illegal immigrants because there all lies. Im a sixteen year old girl who takes honors and ap courses .. i work to get a 3.6 gpa and ive been in the united states for 15 years AND I DESERVE A GREAT EDUCATION unlike others who have a citizenship and are out on the streets and not in school (: and i will be a success LIKE IT OR NOT..i promise yall that!

Anonymous said...

I do not believe that children have broken the law. Parents yes but children who were forced to follow their parents have done nothing wrong. I don't mind have to "shell" out my money to help those who would not have a chance to attend school otherwise. I believe that when students are illegal it is not their fault and what should we do, send them back away from the lives they have made here. Its not a perfect situation but I don't know how anyone can say they should go to jail. Everyone deserves the opportunity to go to school. And with an education, who knows what they can do to help other undocumented students do or become. Eventually there needs to be a way for children who have been here much of their lives to come out of the shadows and become legal despite the law breaking of their parents. Parents should be punished not their children. (I was born in the US by the way)

Anonymous said...

Don't pay taxes? Don't receive money for school. It should be that simple. Go to school in your native country if you don't like it. Screw you tax leachers.

By the way, if you think administrative problems are unique to the University of Houston, you're an idiot. The school has 37,000 students. Nobody has a walk in the park getting administrative work done there. It's called being a little fish in a big pond. The University of Houston is one of the greatest universities in these United States. Period.

Anonymous said...

illegal people pay taxes believe it or not and we dont know where that money is going , we are millions of illegal people,,,,that i think we are really paying for those who say are legal...

Anonymous said...

There are many immigrants that pay taxes here and never see that money again. It is not correct to deny someone the life they have made here, over a decision that a parent made. Maybe if you have received little to no financial aid is because you don't know how to spell. SMART ONE!

Anonymous said...

Problem comes what do you say to an illegal resident (not immigrant) who pays taxes and absolutely needs all aid possible to attend college?

@Amart_2 said...

I was assured a big time scholarship by my respective UofH regional admissions counselor and when he found out that I was undocumented he told me "Sorry, but the university of Houston cannot give you any funding.." and that stating it nicely