Westwood seniors, students recognized by Austin Chamber of Commerce for college preparedness efforts

Members of the senior class at Westwood High School are being recognized by the Austin Chamber of Commerce for their efforts to help promote the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) within the campus.

Seniors were awarded a VIP screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at Alamo Drafthouse. Their selection was the result of having the highest FAFSA submission rate by their senior class in comparison to schools of similar size.

Westwood seniors Rohith Mandavilli and Muhozi Nintunze were also recognized for their outstanding leadership in their schools’ category for FAFSA submission and awarded with scholarships from the Austin Chamber of Commerce totaling $1,000 for the campus.

FAFSA completion is a significant marker for college enrollment. According to the University of Texas at Austin’s Ray Marshall Center, students who submit the FAFSA enroll in college at a rate of 80 percent. To date, the Austin region’s FAFSA submission rate is 59 percent, higher than any educational region in Texas. The FAFSA submissions are expected to bring $92.5 million in economic impact for local students when they enroll in college.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce works in coordination with local school districts on FAFSA completion and College and Career Readiness. The Austin Chamber held more than 40 FAFSA completion events from September through March that were attended by more than 1,000 people. These events, staffed by volunteers from local businesses and hosted by local schools, provided free assistance and expertise to families while filling out the FAFSA. The FAFSA completion program, part of the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Direct to College 70 Percent partnership, aims to enroll 70 percent of local students in postsecondary programs.