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Contact: Ann Hatch

For immediate release — Feb. 19, 2013 

(DALLAS) — The countdown has begun. The clock is ticking and time is flying for high school juniors and seniors who are making plans for college and preparing to apply for financial aid.

Faced with the pressures of school, exams, plans for the future and opinions from family members, many high school students are trying to decide where they should apply for college and whether they can afford the cost of tuition and books. They — and their parents — are concerned about applications, financial aid forms and programs of study they should consider (deciding on a major, for example). The students simply want to know how to navigate the waters of higher education. They are confused, excited and sometimes a little bit frightened to cross the bridge from high school to college.

The Dallas County Community College District and the Dallas Independent School District will eliminate some of those fears and confusion by providing a fact-filled and useful day of information to those students and their parents through the Keys to Success/Las Llaves del Exito on Saturday, March 2, 2013. The free event will be hosted by Cedar Valley College from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 3030 N. Dallas Ave. in Lancaster. Admission is free, and breakfast will be provided.

The half-day college fair is designed specifically to meet the needs of high school juniors and seniors, and their parents with workshops, panel discussions and an education fair that focus on admissions, financial aid, scholarships and college life. Bilingual volunteers will be available to assistant participants. (See maps and directions to Cedar Valley College.)

Las Llaves, celebrating its 11th anniversary, is sponsored by DCCCD and the Dallas Independent School District. Collaborators for the spring 2013 event include the University of North Texas-Dallas, Cedar Valley College, the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Education Is Freedom, Generation Texas, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Dallas County Schools, LULAC National Educational Service Centers Inc., the University of Texas at Arlington, Univision 23, CapitalOne Bank University Crossroads, Ford, Dr Pepper and Texas Woman’s University.

Sessions for students will focus on making decisions about college after high school (attending a community college, a university or a technical school, for example; completing and submitting the FAFSA and TASFA forms for the federal and state financial aid; applying for admission to DCCCD and for the Rising Star program; exploring college readiness; choosing a career path; learning about deferred action and DREAMers; taking college entrance exams; finding scholarships; and overcoming the challenge of college, especially for students who are first-generation or ESOL).

Students also are invited to play “Family Feud: Building Blocks of College.” Student volunteers will compete against each other as they answer questions about admissions, financial aid, scholarships, student life and student organizations — the perfect way to introduce high school juniors and seniors to the building blocks they will need to use for a successful college career.

Parents can attend sessions on understanding the higher education system (differences among community colleges, universities and technical programs/institutions); financial aid, scholarships and Rising Star; and preparing their children for the challenge of going to college and succeeding.

Interested seniors will receive assistance with filling out and submitting their college admissions and financial aid forms. Those students should bring the following documents: a copy of their parents’ 2012 income tax return; valid student picture ID; and W-2 forms or any other records of money earned. Students who have all of the essential forms will receive assistance completing the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA).

College representatives, admissions specialists and financial aid advisors will talk to families about the steps they need to take to be considered for admission and financial aid. Breakfast and snacks will be provided.

Las Llaves was started several years ago by a committee of community members who wanted to encourage high school students to graduate and continue their education.

For more information in English, call DCCCD at (214) 378-1771; for details in Spanish, call (214) 378-1713; or visit these websites: or

Press release in Spanish

Event flier (PDF - 660KB)

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