Happy Friday! Live in spite of your suffering.

β˜€οΈ Today's weather: Windy and warm. Highs near 80.

🎡 Sounds like: "Going Away To College"

πŸ€ Situational awareness: Tickets for the Mavericks' first-round playoff home games go on sale Sunday night.

Today's newsletter is 929 literary words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: FAFSA filings down as deadline looms

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Just a few days remain for Texas high school seniors to apply for federal student aid for a shot at the best possible financial aid package from colleges.

  • But far fewer students have submitted the form this year than in past years as delays and glitches plague the process.

Why it matters: Because the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process is working so poorly, some students face the possibility of choosing a college without knowing whether they'll be able to afford it.

How it works: This is the third academic year that Texas high school seniors are required to fill out the FAFSA.

  • The form is how the federal government, states and colleges determine financial aid eligibility.

State of play: The new version of the form was supposed to streamline the notoriously difficult process and expand aid eligibility β€” but its rollout has been disastrous.

  • The U.S. education secretary sent a letter to governors Tuesday, asking them to adjust state financial aid deadlines, budget for potential state grant aid increases and ensure relevant agencies can process aid efficiently.

Threat level: The issues have led to delays in processing financial aid offers, complicating college decisions.

What they're doing: The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is monitoring the situation ahead of the Monday deadline, but officials haven't decided to push the deadline back for a third time, spokesperson Mike Eddleman tells Axios.

By the numbers: 40% of Texas seniors had completed the application as of March 29, according to the National College Attainment Network.

  • At the same time last year, nearly 60% had done so.

Flashback: Texas' high school class of 2023 left $443 million in Pell grants on the table, per NCAN.

  • More than $4 billion went unclaimed nationally.

Zoom in: Southern Methodist University uses FAFSA and the College Board's CSS Profile to determine financial aid eligibility.

  • While May 1 is the deadline for admitted students to put in a deposit, the university is offering flexibility "on a case-by-case basis" for students who expect to receive need-based aid, a spokesperson tells Axios.

Go deeper

2. πŸ“š Get married at this fancy library

The books here are ready to bless your birthday, marriage or baby shower. Photo: Courtesy of City of Cedar Hill

Cedar Hill is ready to make nerdy dreams come true with its new library that can also host weddings and other events.

Why it matters: Dallas, Southlake and Colleyville also have city-owned spaces people can rent to host meetings or events.

  • The venues help boost revenue.

The intrigue: The new Traphene Hickman Library was built around the theme, "library in a park." It has study rooms, a podcast recording studio, rooftop deck and the Cedar Hill Museum of History.

  • The building is surrounded by a park with trails, a creek and outdoor gathering spaces.
  • There's over 5,400 square feet of "unique programmable space" on the site for various events, including weddings, birthday parties and church gatherings.
  • The project cost around $40 million.
An empty rooftop patio
An Instaworthy rooftop. Photo: Courtesy of City of Cedar Hill

What's next: The library will host a grand opening celebration on April 27. There will be a fun run, giveaways, balloon art for kids and alcoholic beverages for adults.

πŸ’­ Our thought bubble: We will gladly book it to this library for anyone's wedding.

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3. πŸ”Œ Mapped: EV charging costs in Texas

Average EV charging station prices, January 2024
Data: Stable Auto; Note: Does not include Tesla charging stations; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Electric vehicle drivers in Texas face some of the highest charging rates at public stations.

Why it matters: Charging an EV at a public charging site in Texas costs about three times as much as in Nebraska. The gap suggests EV charging companies are still figuring out how to price a top-off.

By the numbers: It costs an average of 50 cents per kilowatt-hour to charge an electric car at a public charging station in Texas.

  • The national average is 45 cents per kWh, according to data from EV charger software developer Stable Auto.

Context: A typical EV with 300 miles of range usually takes about 75-100 kWh to go from empty to full.

Between the lines: Charging networks such as Electrify America, EVgo and ChargePoint consider a host of factors in setting their charging price β€” not least the local electricity rate.

Yes, but: The big gaps in prices among states suggest something is amiss, Stable argues.

  • Gasoline prices also differ across state lines, but not as greatly as EV charging rates.

What's next: More networks in the past six months have started adopting Tesla's variable pricing model, which accounts for the site location, time of day, and amount of power a station is delivering.

For smart, quick intel on dealmaking in the climate industry for your job, get Axios Pro.

4. πŸ—ž Burnt ends: Bite-sized news bits

Staring the weekend straight in the eyes. Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🚨 Rashee Rice of the Kansas City Chiefs turned himself in to police yesterday in connection with a high-speed crash on a Dallas highway. (NBC News)

βš–οΈ A former Richardson mayor and her husband started serving six-year prison terms for bribery. (DMN)

⚽ Colleyville Heritage's girls soccer team advanced to the state championship game after defeating Pflugerville Hendrickson yesterday. (Star-Telegram)

β˜• Canadian coffee shop chain Tim Hortons is planning a Saginaw location as part of its expansion to North Texas. (WFAA)

5. 🍻 One cocktail to go: The Old Monk

Pulpy, juicy cocktail without strong bite. Photo: Tasha "On the Rocks" Tsiaperas/Axios

This long-lasting Henderson Avenue pub fulfills the desire for a robust tap list and delicious fish and chips, while also offering a shaded patio and surprisingly good cocktails.

  • Plus, cocktails are $7 from 3-7pm weekdays.

The latest: The beloved pub is set to open a second location in Oak Cliff, which should delight whisky lovers south of I-30.

What to order: Mezcal Mangito β€”Β mezcal, tequila, mango, lime and tamarind soda.

Where: The Old Monk, 2847 N. Henderson Ave.

Cost: $12

Six-word review: Tangy, tropical spin on summer marg.

πŸ“­ Know a drink we should try? Hit reply and tell us.

Editor's note: Wednesday's newsletter item on the Dallas Mavericks should have said Kyrie Irving arrived in Dallas as part of a trade, not as a free agent.

This newsletter was edited by Bob Gee and copy edited by Carolyn DiPaolo.

Our picks:

πŸ‘š Tasha is sad that millions of tons of discarded fast fashion pieces are being dumped in Chile.

πŸ‡΅πŸ‡° Naheed is planning to try this Pakistani-Texas barbecue truck soon.

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