Indiana students headed to college who are looking for help in filing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can visit DePauw University and 35 other sites on College Goal Sunday, Feb. 15.
This program provides free information and assistance in filling out the complicated form that must be filed by March 10. It will begin at 2 p.m. and is located in room 278 of DePauw's Julian Science and Mathematics Center.
"My parents and I went to this two years ago and it really helped. I don't know if we could have figured out how to fill everything out the right way without help," said Chris Simms, who now attends Indiana University.
"They walked us through the whole process and told us how to submit the forms. I do my own now online, but I wouldn't be able to do that if I hadn't gone to the College Goal Sunday," she added.
In 2007-08, the State of Indiana awarded nearly $213 million in financial aid to more than 65,000 students.
By filing on time, students have an improved chance of receiving federal and state grants, loans and scholarships, as well as other financial aid.
"Nearly half of Indiana's college students qualify for financial aid from the State of Indiana," said Jacki Switzer, ISFAA College Goal Sunday co-coordinator and district marketing director for Edamerica.
The aim of College Goal Sunday is to help students and families understand the financial aid process and to bring them closer to fulfilling their educational goals.
Parents should come with students to College Goal Sunday. Completed 2008 IRS 1040 tax returns for students' parents are necessary. Also W-2 Forms and other 2008 income and benefits information is required.
If students worked last year, they should bring their income information. Students 24 years or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2008 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2008 income and benefits information.
Pens and FAFSA forms will be provided, but students are encouraged to bring their own FAFSA forms and their U.S. Department of Education Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) if filing online. Parents will also need to obtain PINs to file online. To obtain a PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov.
Students attending College Goal Sunday qualify for a chance to win an educational prize to help with their higher education expenses. Three educational prizes, worth $300 each, will be awarded statewide -- one for northern Indiana, one for central Indiana and one for southern Indiana. The winners will be notified in March; prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institutions selected by winning students. To enter the drawing, students must attend College Goal Sunday and submit a completed evaluation form.
Since its inception, College Goal Sunday has helped more than 70,000 Indiana students and families complete FAFSA forms. They have been cited as a valuable resource for first-generation college students and at-risk youth.
NOTE: Classes for filing out the FAFSA will also be held at the Knoy Resource Center, Cloverdale High School on January 29 from 6-8 p.m.; February 12 from 6-8 p.m. and February 21 from 1-3:30 p.m. Childcare will be provided. Call 765-795-2495, ex. 5562 for reservations or information for the class.