Need a Little FAFSA Coaching? College Goal Sunday is Nov. 5

College Goal SundayOverwhelming is a good way to describe what it’s like to send your child off to college. Maybe you’re sad (or happy, no judgement) to have them out of the nest and discovering their first taste of independence. Aside from hoping they go to class and get an education that can set them up for a bright future, there are dorms to furnish and long-term decisions to make.

And all of that doesn’t include one of the most stressful aspects: how to pay for college.

One way to alleviate the stress of sorting through the financial aid process is by attending College Goal Sunday on November 5. Financial aid professionals will volunteer at 39 locations around the state to help students and families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The document is required for students at most colleges and universities to be eligible for grants, scholarships and student loans.

While the FAFSA process can seem daunting or time consuming, students and families can fill out and file the form online in one afternoon with the help of professionals standing by.

College Goal Sunday is run by the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (IFSAA) and is adding this November event in addition to its annual College Goal Sunday in February.

Interested? Here’s what you should bring:

  • Students should attend with parents or guardians (unless students are age 24 or older)
  • Parents should bring completed 2016 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 forms and other 2016 income and benefits information
  • Students who worked the previous year should bring their income information
  • Students age 24 and older should bring their own completed 2016 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2016 income and benefits information
  • Students and parents are encouraged to apply for U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at ed.gov before attending the event

A complete list of sites is available at CollegeGoalSunday.org. All sites will have online capabilities and many will offer Spanish language interpreters. Students who attend and fill out a completed evaluation will also be entered to win one of five $1,000 scholarships.

FAFSA: Five Important Letters for Student Financial Aid

Sixty-nine percent of first-generation college students believe they can’t afford college. The fact is that most of them are wrong. There are millions of dollars available to help Hoosiers pay for college. It all starts with FAFSA — the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Filing the FAFSA is a must-do to qualify for most federal grants and loans, resources provided by the state of Indiana and support provided by colleges and universities. There is no cost to apply; it never hurts to try; it is the only way students can know their full financial aid eligibility.

Learn More Indiana doesn’t want any students unnecessarily missing the March 10 filing deadline. Human resource professionals should make sure their associates with college-bound students are aware of the opportunities. If you don’t play, you can’t get paid. Students and parents can learn more through the following:

  • College Goal Sunday, February 15 at 2 p.m. (local time), provides free assistance at 36 locations throughout Indiana for students and parents filling out the FAFSA. Hoosiers can submit their FAFSA online at any site. For more information, visit www.collegegoalsunday.org or call 1-800-992-2076
  • Learn More Indiana offers online step-by step instructions on how to fill out the FAFSA. In addition, Hoosiers can order a free publication, Indiana’s Guide to Paying for College: Step-by-Step Tips To Help High School Seniors Apply for Financial Aid, by calling 1-800-992-2076 or visiting www.learnmoreindiana.org.
  • FAFSA Friday is an additional push for families needing assistance with filling out the FAFSA prior to the March 10 deadline. On Friday, February 27, Learn More Indiana will connect Hoosiers to financial aid advisors through a statewide webinar. Students, counselors, teachers and parents can view the presentation and chat with financial aid advisors by logging onto www.learnmoreindiana.org/FAFSAFriday between the hours of 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.