GREENCASTLE -- Indiana students and their families who need information and/or assistance in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are invited once again this year to attend College Goal Sunday, Feb. 21.
DePauw University will serve as one of 37 sites statewide. Now in its 21st year, College Goal Sunday is a charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA).
At 2 p.m. Feb. 21 in room 278 of DePauw's Percy Lavon Julian Science and Mathematics Center (602 S. College Avenue), financial aid professionals will walk through the FAFSA line-by-line and answer families' individual questions. This year, all sites offer FAFSA online capabilities and many have Spanish interpreters.
For Indiana students seeking undergraduate admission to a college or technical school in 2010, it is important to file the FAFSA -- the form required by educational institutions nationwide -- so the federal processor receives it by March 10. By filing on time, students have an improved chance of receiving federal and state grants, loans and scholarships, as well as other financial aid.
Since its inception, College Goal Sunday has helped more than 75,000 Indiana students and families complete the complicated FAFSA form properly and on time.
According to the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI), programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching first-generation college students.
In addition, according to SSACI 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
In 2007-08, the State of Indiana awarded nearly $213 million in financial aid to more than 65,000 students.
"Nearly half of Indiana's college students qualify for financial aid from the State of Indiana," said Sue Allmon of USA Funds Services, a co-chair of College Goal Sunday. "College Goal Sunday helps students and families better understand the financial aid process and brings students one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals."
Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parent(s) or guardian(s) and bring their parents' completed 2009 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2009 income and benefits information. If students worked last year, they should also bring their income information.
Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2009 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2009 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 will qualify for a chance to win an educational prize to help with their higher education expenses. This year, LearnMore Indiana and College Goal Sunday will provide a $1,000 scholarship for each of the 37 sites in Indiana.
The winners will be notified in March; prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institutions selected by the winning students. To enter the drawing, students must attend College Goal Sunday and submit a completed evaluation form.