Students Get Push To Go To College

Students Get Push To Go To College

The push is growing stronger to send minority groups to college and the push is being felt right here in Texoma.

Studies show the Hispanic population will be the majority by 2020 but just last year only 11% of Latinos in Texas were enrolled in college. One hurdle families face is the cost of college but there is financial help out there if families know how to do the paperwork.

Alicia Urista has four kids. She moved to Wichita Falls from Mexico about 30 years ago. Alicia says when her oldest daughter graduated high school she didn't go to college. Instead she went straight to work as a secretary.

"Before we thought that just having a high school diploma was something good but now we're finding out that it's not enough so we're having to send our kids to college," said Urista.

And that's what she's preparing for now. Another one of Alicia's daughters is set to graduate in May and she does have her sights set on a higher education. That's something the state wants to see more of from minority groups. Gonzalo Robles, an educational consultant for the group Cafe con Leche says this issue does need to be at the top of the list in Texoma.

"As of last year, this school district is now a minority majority district meaning that between Hispanics and African Americans, they comprise the larger number of students in this district," said Robles.

But college is a hefty expense. That's why Texoma community groups are pushing not just Latino but all high school seniors to apply for financial aid. Robles says 90% of students who apply end up going to college. But Urista says all the paper work and confusing questions can make the process stressful, especially for Latino families.

"They ask you things that sometimes you don't know how to answer and if you answer something that's not correct then you get into trouble because then you can't go back and fix it," said Urista.

There is an event happening today from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. that will help take the stress off parents. Parents of high school seniors can go to Hirschi High school and get help with their taxes and financial aid paperwork all for free. Just make sure and take your 2012 tax forms or W-2 forms, social security number and a picture I.D.

If parents can't make it tonight there will be 3 more events just like this one in the upcoming weeks. This event is for all families with high school seniors.

Some of the organizations involved include the North Texas United Way, the Zavala Hispanic Initiative, Cafe con Leche and the Amo Leer Family Literacy Project.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6