Demystifying the Financial Aid Process
For most students, a critical step in the college-going process is successfully completing the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA). Mekhi Wilson, Lansing High School alumnus, knows first-hand the value of having a strong support system to help navigate the FAFSA and college applications. His mother, MeKeylla remembers the frustration they both felt during the first time attempt to complete the FAFSA form. “It became a headache! We were going in circles and were hung up on what was actually an easy fix.” To help Mekhi and his mother move forward, they turned to the University of Kansas TRIO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC).
KU TRIO EOC serves communities throughout northeastern Kansas and is designed to help adults understand and successfully complete the college application and financial aid process. EOC partners with high schools in Leavenworth County, including Lansing High School, to offer services to eligible high school seniors.
Of the services offered at his high school, Mekhi found FAFSA assistance, provided by EOC Academic Advisor Sarah, to be of great benefit. After the initial FAFSA information session with EOC staff, MeKeylla and Mekhi scheduled a customized meeting to work through their remaining questions.
The cost of college was one of the biggest worries on both Mekhi and MeKeylla’s mind, but the meeting helped tremendously. “Sarah was so patient throughout the entire meeting! Without the TRIO EOC’s help, it would have been extra hard. I would have had to put in extra hours at work and lost focus on Mekhi and his school work.” recounted MeKeylla. Mekhi is thankful for the assistance offered by TRIO EOC, “This help allowed me to focus on school and not have to worry about the cost and if I’m able to afford it.” Although the college and financial aid application process was daunting, Mekhi and his mother are happy to have had the help of KU TRIO EOC’s financial aid experts.
Mekhi is now in his first year at Kansas City Kansas Community College and is happy to be on the other side of the application process. Obtaining a degree in business administration will put Mekhi on a path towards a career he has always wanted. When asked what his future will look like, Mekhi knows one thing for certain, “I want to have a world-renowned business, and to make my mom happy!” Through a big smile, MeKeylla countered, “I am just so proud of him!”