College-bound students have quite a daunting task ahead of them — full class schedules, moving away from home for the first time and tirelessly working toward fulfilling their dreams.
Add to that a price tag of between $10,000 and $30,000 for each year of college in Texas, and seniors may feel overwhelmed.
But The University of Texas at Tyler’s Mobile Go Center parked in front of Jacksonville High School Monday to help college-bound students apply for college and financial aid.
JHS Senior Hunter Priest, who said he plans to go to Lon Morris College, said the Mobile Go Center helped him get his financial aid documents in order.
“I probably wouldn’t get this done at home,” Priest said. “This is what I needed. It has given me the opportunity.”
The Mobile Go Center is a 42-foot-long trailer-come-computer lab paid for with grant monies and used to give area schools a free-of-charge opportunity to get their seniors a jump start on college.
“Students are applying for colleges and filling out forms for financial aid,” said Advancement Via Individual Determination teacher Terri Orr.
“There’s a program called Reality Check where the students can put in what kind of house and car they want, and it tells them how much money they need to make to have all their dreams come true.”
The students, assisted by representatives from UT Tyler and JHS, used the lab’s 15 computers to get information about their colleges of choice.
Orr said about 230 JHS seniors will visit the center over the course of seven class periods Monday and Tuesday.
“It’s always been full,” she said.
Senior Counselor Sharon Loftin said the students are excited about the opportunity to receive help working toward college.
“This will continue to motivate students for post-secondary education,” Loftin said. “Any time we have opportunities to help further their education we are going to take advantage of it.”
Mobile Go Center Coordinator Angie Copeland said the center was brought to JHS to help students take their learning to the next level.
“We help them apply and get financial aid,” Copeland said. “This is about pursuing higher education.”
She also said each student could choose any college they wanted to apply to.
“We take this all over East Texas to any school that requests it,” Copeland said.
Copeland said about 1,000 students have been served in the three or so weeks the Go Center has operated.