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U of A, Arizona Assurance Program Offers Extra Support for Select Incoming Freshmen

The University of Arizona has many programs to ensure students from all backgrounds not only attend the university but also graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in hand. According to the UA website, “Arizona Assurance (AZA) is a program that was created to increase the number of low-income, Arizona residents attending and graduating from the University of Arizona. AZA provides both financial aid and support services; both work together to retain and graduate students. This is achieved through first-year transition programming, mentoring, leadership building, career development, graduate/professional school preparation, and preparing for life after college.”

While many students and families may be interested in this type of additional support, there are eligibility requirements. For additional information consult the Arizona Assurance Program website

  • Submit your FAFSA and a completed University of Arizona Admissions application (application, transcripts and application fee) by January 31st
  • The FAFSA must be official and free of errors by January 31st. 
  • Demonstrate a total annual family income of $60,000 or less on the FAFSA.*
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), as calculated by the FAFSA, of 4000 or less AND be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant.* Click here for instructions as to how to view your calculated EFC on your Student Aid Report (SAR).
  • Earn a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0 in required core academic courses from the first six semesters of high school.
  • Be admitted to University of Arizona Main Campus for Fall 2020. 
  • Be a confirmed Resident of the state of Arizona for tuition purposes no later than January 31st.
  • Enroll in courses at University of Arizona as a first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshman(i.e. students who did not attend any higher education institution including Community Colleges, Universities, or International post-secondary education schools after high school graduation).

*The total annual family income, EFC and Federal Pell Grant eligibility must be based on actual 2018 tax information. Income adjustments based on an approved Special Circumstances Form will not be considered for AZA consideration.

November 14, FAFSA Assistance Night at City High!

On October 1, 2019, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened up. FAFSA is a federal program that all colleges, universities, and many trade schools examine to determine the amount of money students will be offered during their time of study. It is based on a family’s income and most students and families qualify for some form of financial aid, ranging from grants, subsidized loans, and scholarships specific to the institutions. 

On Thursday, November 14 from 5:30-7pm in Room 204, representatives from the University of Arizona will be at City High School to answer any questions that students and families may have about the FAFSA. We will have computers available for seniors and their families to complete the FAFSA with an experienced person on site to answer any questions. In order to come to this event prepared, students and one of their parents or guardians must each apply for a Federal Student Aid ID. Additionally, students (and families) should bring: 

  • Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA form!)
  • Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student
  • Your driver’s license number if you have one
  • Your Alien (Resident) Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information and for your parents if you are a dependent student:
    • IRS 1040, 2018
    • Foreign tax return, IRS 1040NR, or IRS 1040NR-EZ
    • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
  • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
  • Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student

It is important to research the FAFSA priority deadlines for the colleges and universities that you are applying to because this date represents when the most amount of money will be distributed to students who have completed the FAFSA for the following school year. 

FAFSA Priority Deadlines:

Northern Arizona University: November 15, 2019

Arizona State University: January 15, 2020

University of Arizona: March 1, 2020

46th Annual Tucson College Night Heading to the TCC October 22, 2019

Each year over 200 colleges and universities from across the nation convene at the Tucson Convention Center, providing high school students of all grades the opportunity to talk with college recruiters and get a feel for what life after City High can be. This free event is from 6:30-8:30pm on Tuesday, October 22 at the TCC. City High encourages all 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders to register for the event and attend with their families. By registering for the event ahead of time, a student will be provided a barcode that college representatives can scan to better serve you by passing along information that relates to you, your interests, and the day after the fair you will receive an email report with the contact information of every college that scans your barcode.

It is never too early to start thinking about college. The City High College and Career portion of the website features College Guidance Resources including scholarship information and local resources. The website also provides an ongoing list of Upcoming Events and Important Dates for college planning and other college-related opportunities

One of the most important resources for high school seniors who are even considering college after City High is the FAFSA, which opened on October 1, 2019. This federal program offers multiple types of financial aid to students ranging from grants to student loans for the 2020/2021 school year. In conjunction with the University of Arizona, City High will be offering a free FAFSA Workshop for City High seniors and their families on Thursday, November 14 at City High School in room 204 from 5:30-7pm. Families are encouraged to create separate Federal IDs for students and parents prior to the workshop as well as bring these documents to this session.

Community Connections: CHS Internships at the Arizona Theatre Company

City High School Senior Internships are well underway. Most seniors have been participating in their internship for over a full month. On September 14, the Arizona Daily Star ran an article on the Arizona Theatre Company’s free theater program for teens, ATCteen Program. City High has two seniors participating in internships at the ATC this year, and one of our seniors, Neruda Hogrelius, was featured in the article. Hayden Stagg, a City High junior, is also prominently featured in the article. 

Like the ATCteen Program, the City High Senior Internship Program strives for our students to participate in something they are passionate about and hopefully offers them the opportunity to sample what life is like to work in their fields of interest. Neruda’s internship supervisor and head of ATC’s Director of Education, Jasmine Roth, told the Star that the ATCteen Program enables participants to “learn so much about themselves…They grow so much and it shows in their confidence.” City High is proud to partner with many wonderful organizations in the Tucson community. We are grateful for the work that organizations like the Arizona Theatre Company undertake with our students.

Bear Down! University of Arizona Promises Four-Year Tuition Coverage for All students with Financial Need

On September 12, 2019, University of Arizona announced that beginning fall 2020, all full-time incoming freshmen who qualify for the federal Pell Grant program will have 100% of their tuition covered for four years at the main campus in Tucson! Under the University of Arizona Pell Pledge Grant, in-state freshmen who display financial need based on their FAFSA application and qualify for the Pell grants will be guaranteed multiple funding sources that cover their tuition costs for four years. Grants do not have to be paid back. UA tuition including mandatory fees for the 2019-2020 school year for an Arizona resident is $13,290 at the main campus in Tucson. You can read the university’s official announcement here.


According to the official announcement:

To receive the Pell Pledge Grant, a student must:

  • Apply to the University of Arizona and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid [FAFSA] by March 1, 2020
  • Qualify for Federal Pell Grants, which are given to students with financial need
  • Hold Arizona residency
  • Be a domestic, first-time freshman
  • Attend the University of Arizona’s main campus in Tucson

City High encourages students to complete the FAFSA application as soon as possible once the application opens on October 1, 2019. We will be hosting a FAFSA workshop with experts from the UA and Pima for City students and their families on Thursday, November 14 from 5:30-7pm. As always, check the College and Career page on City’s website for up-to-date information and important deadlines for post-high school options.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities for College Planning

By now, City High seniors have spent at least some time considering what they want to do once they graduate high school. September is a busy month for planning ahead for college and career, and several opportunities to explore post-high school plans are happening this month. 

On Tuesday, September 17 from 5:30-7pm, Southern Arizona Big Brothers Big Sisters is hosting a College and Career Fair at 37 E. Pennington. ALL City High students and their families are encouraged to come and gather information about the college application process, student life, and degree programs for:

-University of Arizona

-Northern Arizona University

-Arizona State University

-Pima Community College

-Pima Medical Institute

Carrington College 

-Brookline College

Additionally, recruiters from the Army, Navy, Marines, and Job Corps will be in attendance. 


On Wednesday, September 18 and Thursday, September 19, representatives from some of the top colleges across the US will be hosting an information session at the Tucson Marriott University Park located on the UA campus. Registration information can be found below:

Exploring Educational Options with Representatives from many Colleges

(Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Rice, University of Chicago)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Tucson Marriott University Park

880 E 2nd St

Tucson, AZ 85719-4838


Exploring College Options with Representatives from many Colleges

(Harvard, Georgetown, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford) 

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Tucson Marriott University Park

880 E 2nd St

Tucson, AZ 85719-4838



Lastly, the annual Tucson College Night will take place at the Tucson Convention Center on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 from 6:30-8:30pm with free admission and parking. Over 200 college representatives from all over the United States will be present to talk to students and parents, answer questions, and hand out materials. 

If you have any questions about college, SAT or ACT tests, FAFSA, or post-high school plans, you can always reach out to City High’s College and Career Pathways Coordinator, Alisha Vasquez.

Metropolitan Education Commission: Assistance Applying for College & Volunteer Opportunities

During Whole School Meeting on Wednesday, September 4, Ed Nossem from the Metropolitan Education Commission discussed the opportunity for City High students to participate in the 9th annual Youth Advisory Council. According to the MEC website, the Youth Advisory Council “provide[s] youth/student input on policies and programs designed to improve the quality of education throughout Pima County and to engage in activities, which foster leadership, citizenship, and the best educational opportunities for all Tucson youth. The YAC has been identified and utilized as an important contributor to the City of Tucson and Pima County community organizations to increase youth civic involvement.” Students are encouraged to join the Youth Advisory Council; meetings take place on Mondays twice monthly, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Santa Rosa Library, 1075 S. 10th Avenue. The application is located at

Among its many services provided free of charge to students in Pima County, MEC offers free college planning, financial aid, and assistance with FAFSA and college and scholarship applications. Book an appointment today!

In addition to MEC, this Saturday, September 7 from 9am-1pm a free College Application and Resource Fair will take place at Tucson High. Keep an eye out for updates on the new and improved Upcoming College Events and Important Dates page on the College and Career page of City High’s website as well as our new Scholarships, Grants, Volunteer Opportunities, and Contests page. 

2019-2020 Senior Internship Program

All City High School seniors take part in a senior internship based on their interest that enables them to explore career options and gain work experience before graduating. On Thursday, August 29 at 6pm all seniors and their internship mentors will meet at 37 E. Pennington to solidify the internships for the 2019-2020 school year. Internship Coordinator, Alisha Vasquez, will go over City High expectations of our student interns, their mentors, provide important information for both students and mentors, and field any outstanding questions. 

Some of the exciting internships that our seniors will experience include working with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, the Arizona Theater Company, Sonoran Glass, Banner Medical Center, and the Pima Air and Space Museum. Seniors will present on their internship experiences to their peers and invited community guests at the CHS Career Day in February 2020. You can visit our website for more information on the student internships.