Operators in English and Spanish will be available to answer questions on how to apply, financial aid options and other areas at 1-800-323-3961.
"Parents and students can call this 1-800 number to ask questions on types of financial assistance and even request information from particular colleges and universities," said Arnold Trejo, director of the Financial Aid Office at The University of Texas-Pan American.
"The emphasis is to make the student and the parent aware of the variety of programs, scholarships, student employment, student loans, grants, and other programs that are available throughout the country for educational purposes.
"We're very concerned about spreading the word early in the year, because the time to start applying for student financial assistance is right now for this upcoming academic year, which starts in September," Trejo said. "Financial aid is a very complex and time-consuming process, which is why we're taking a more proactive approach in disseminating information and making parents aware of the time frame, which is so critical."
The hotline is timed to coincide with Financial Aid Awareness Week Feb. 2-8. It is sponsored by the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Chase Manhattan Bank's Education First.
UT Pan American will hold its annual Financial Aid Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the University Ballroom to provide assistance with income tax and financial aid forms and to answer questions from high school and college students and their parents.