Financial aid professionals will be volunteering at 39 sites across Indiana to help college-bound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday, set for 2 p.m. Feb. 23.
Three locations are in southeast Indiana: Ivy Tech Community College, 50 Walnut St., Riverfront Campus, Lawrenceburg; Ivy Tech Community College, 2177 Intelliplex Drive, Shelbyville; and Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, 4555 Central Ave., Columbus Learning Center.
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 application 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.
Now in its 25th year, College Goal Sunday, a charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association, has helped more than 90,000 Indiana students and families complete the FAFSA properly and on time, opening the door to financial aid for college.
What students should bring
To make filing the form 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 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 may apply for their U.S. Department of Education Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) at www.pin.ed.gov before coming to the event.
Attendees may win educational prizes
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 the spring; prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institutions selected by the winning students.
Twenty-first Century Scholars benefit
Twenty-first 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, these 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 is one of the highlights of Financial Aid Awareness Month. In February, students and their families can call the Learn More Indiana helpline at 800-992-2076 and have their questions answered by financial aid professionals. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education supports the helpline.