Helena High School celebrated for high FAFSA completion

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter 

HELENA – Helena High School is one of many school’s being honored for having a high rate of students make plans to go to college and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The school had a FAFSA completion rate of 62 percent as of May 31, which is the third highest rate in the state.

The school is being honored for this achievement by the Alabama State Department of Education and Alabama Possible, a nonprofit group that helps graduates pursue technical or academic credentials.

“We are honored to be recognized for our school’s participation in the Cash for College program. Our participation rate of greater than 60 percent is a credit to our students, supportive and involved parents, our guidance counselors, and Shelby County Schools Career Coach, Keyla Handley,” said HHS Principal April Brand. “At Helena High School, we take our responsibility to prepare students for their future seriously.”

As part of this recognition, HHS will receive a grant to further efforts to send students to college after graduation.

“We are thrilled to celebrate these high schools for their commitment to postsecondary education and creating a college-going culture,” said Kristina Scott, Alabama Possible executive director. “It’s exciting to see schools connecting students with resources so they can continue their education after high school.”

HHS uses a wide range of events and opportunities throughout the year to encourage and help students prepare for life post-graduation.

“Each year, we partner with Jefferson State Community College to provide numerous opportunities for students and families to better understand how to pay for college,” Brand explained. “I truly believe our participation rate is a reflection on our hosting parent meetings, FAFSA workshops, guest speakers, and embedding economics lessons focused on post-secondary decision making.”