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Students To Get Free FAFSA Help At College Goal Sunday
Updated January 29, 2015 8:44 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Financial aid professionals will be volunteering at Ivy Tech Community College - Bloomington and 35 other sites in Indiana to help college-bound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday.

The event is set for 2 p.m., Feb. 22.

The free program assists Indiana students in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA). The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide.

The FAFSA MUST be filed by March 10 to be eligible for Indiana financial aid. College Goal Sunday is so important since completing this required form correctly and by the deadline is sometimes perceived to be complicated and time consuming. In less than one afternoon at a College Goal Sunday event, students and their families can get free help and file the form online.

Now in its 26th year, College Goal Sunday has helped more than 90,000 Indiana students and families complete the FAFSA properly and on time. College Goal Sunday is a charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA).

New this year

In addition to free assistance in completing the FAFSA, Ivy Tech has joined with Indiana University to provide a broad range of college access information to assist ALL college bound students. I.U. and Ivy Tech will have representatives available to talk about admissions, scholarships, accelerated degree programs, student services, dual credit programs, transfer opportunities and much more!

Program assists students

"Nearly half of Indiana's college students qualify for financial aid from the State of Indiana," said Christina Lucas, co-chair of College Goal Sunday. "This event helps families across the state file the FAFSA, and brings students one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals."

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 recent years, according to SFA statistics, more single-parent Hoosier families have filed for financial aid, indicating programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching high-risk students and their families.

"Financial aid professionals have seen firsthand the disappointment of students who don't complete their financial aid paperwork properly," said Lucas. "That's why the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association continues to provide College Goal Sunday. If our assistance gives students a better chance at higher education, we're fulfilling our mission."

What students should bring

Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parent(s) or guardian(s), and parents' should bring completed 2014 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2014 income and benefits information.

Students who worked last year should bring their income information as well. Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2014 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2014 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.

Volunteers will walk through the online form line-by-line and answer families' individual questions as needed. All sites offer FAFSA online capabilities and many have Spanish interpreters. A complete list of sites is available at www.CollegeGoalSunday.org.

Attendees may win educational prizes

Students may also win one of 16 $1000 scholarships. Students who attend any of the College Goal Sunday sites and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $1000 scholarship. The winners will be notified in March, and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institution selected by the winning students.

21st Century Scholars Benefit

21st Century Scholars are 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. Upon high school graduation, Scholars who have fulfilled the commitment receive state funds 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.

Program Is A National Model

College Goal Sunday originated right here in Indiana, and is now a national model. Following Indiana's example, College Goal Sunday events organized by more than 35 states have opened doors to higher education for tens of thousands of students all over the country. Visit www.CollegeGoalSundayUSA.org to learn more.

For more information about College Goal Sunday visit www.CollegeGoalSunday.org.



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