Pharos-Tribune

February 7, 2014

College Goal Sunday scheduled for FAFSA help

From staff reports
Pharos-Tribune

---- — Financial aid professionals will be volunteering at 2 p.m. Feb. 23 at Ivy Tech Community College’s Logansport Campus, 1 Ivy Way, and 38 other Indiana sites to help college-bound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday.

Kokomo Campus is hosting a few workshops all from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 and 27, and also March 3, 5 and 7, all in Room M105. Contact Lucy Sommers, kokomo-finaid@ivytech.edu or call 765-459-0561, ext. 244.

Logansport Campus is hosting some from 2 to 4 p.m. March 4, 10 and 12 and one from 4 to 6 p.m. March 6, all in room 270. Contact Brenda Hamilton, bhamilton11@ivytech.edu, or call 574-753-5101 ext. 2173.

Peru Instrucional Site is hosting a few different sessions, 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 25 in Room 112/class lab; from 1 to 3 p.m. March 3 in Room 109/open lab; and from 10 to 2 p.m. March 10 in Room 109/open lab.

The free program is designed to assist Indiana students seeking undergraduate admission to a college or technical school in 2014 in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, loans and scholarships at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide and must be filed by March 10 to be eligible for state aid. Completing this required form correctly and by the deadline is sometimes perceived to be complicated and time consuming. In one afternoon at College Goal Sunday, students and their families can get free help and file the form online.

According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s Division of Student Financial Aid (SFA), programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching first-generation college students. In addition, according to SFA statistics, in recent years, more single-parent Hoosier families have filed for financial aid, indicating programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching high-risk students and their families.

To make filing the FAFSA easier, volunteers walk through the form line-by-line and answer families’ individual questions. All sites offer FAFSA online capabilities and many have Spanish interpreters. A complete list of sites is available at www.CollegeGoalSunday.org.

Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parent(s) or guardian(s) and bring their parents’ completed 2013 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2013 income and benefits information. Students who worked last year, should bring their income information. Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2013 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2013 income and benefits information. Students and parents are encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) at www.pin.ed.gov before coming to the event.

Students who attend any of the College Goal Sunday sites and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for an educational prize. Winners will be notified in March and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institutions selected by the winning students.

21st Century Scholars — income-eligible students who sign a contract in the seventh or eighth grade promising they will graduate from high school, meet grade point requirements, fulfill a pledge of good citizenship, and apply for college financial aid — who have fulfilled the commitment may receive state funds upon their high school graduation to help cover their college tuition and fees for eight semesters at eligible Indiana colleges. To fulfill their pledge, scholars must submit a completed FAFSA form on time. College Goal Sunday can help.

ISFAA’s College Goal Sunday is one of the highlights of Financial Aid Awareness Month. In February, students and their families can call the Learn More Resource Center helpline at 800-992-2076 and have their questions answered by financial aid professionals. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education supports the Helpline.

For more information about College Goal Sunday or Financial Aid Awareness Month, call the Helpline at 800-992-2076 or visit www.CollegeGoalSunday.org.