With hard work and help, students use financial aid to go to sch - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

With hard work and help, students use financial aid to go to school

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

It's almost springtime, which means those high school seniors are starting to think about what they're going to do next year.

And if they're going to college or technical school, they and their parents are starting to think about how to pay for that education.

But as 2 TJC students are proving, with a lot of hard work and a little help, it's possible to find financial aid.

"If I didn't have any scholarships or any aid at all, I probably would not be here," said Christina Kramer, a music major at TJC.

Kramer comes from a one-income family. Her goal is to stay out of debt in college, and she got serious about applying for scholarships thanks to her mom and her high school career counselor.

"And you'd just go in there and look in the folder and, 'Oh, this one I qualify for so I'll fill this out.' So I would basically just fill out the scholarship and submit it, and I just kept doing it," she said.

Nicolas Long has had to pay for college without the help of his parents, and so he's relied on TJC's financial aid office for a lot of help -- including everyone's first financial aid step, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form.

"That was probably the most monotonous process -- getting in all the paperwork. I think everyone can relate with that," Long said.

Kramer's decision to attend SFA's music school next fall is partly financial - she's about to audition for music grants.

"It was based on, where could I go, and how much money could I get to where my tuition is paid," she said.

And getting the most financial aid he can is still high on Long's list of priorities as he plans to transition to UT Arlington.

"I still hold those same expectations for all financial aid offices, just to be very helpful, to give also advice and guidance," he said. "I would ask the financial aid representatives, 'if I were your son, let's make this a real life situation, if I were your son, what would you advise me to do?' And they would help me."

If you're wondering how to get started in the financial aid process, we can help.

KLTV be live from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in Austin Thursday night with information on how you can call in and talk with financial aid representatives on how best to navigate the process and find the most money -- even free money -- to start or continue your education.

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