College Goal Sunday helps families fill out forms

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Filling out financial aid paperwork can be complicated and time-consuming, but College Goal Sunday can make it easy for Putnam County families.

College Goal Sunday is a program that helps college-bound Indiana students, who qualify for undergraduate admission to a college or technical school in 2007, and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

This year's event will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at 35 sites in 29 Indiana communities. In Putnam County, the program begins at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Olin Auditorium of DePauw University's Olin Biological Sciences Building on Hannah Street. The program will close by 4 p.m.

College Goal Sunday provides on-site help from financial aid experts, primarily from Indiana colleges and universities. Most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools in the nation require students seeking federal financial aid, including grants and loans, to complete the FAFSA. A FAFSA form must be received by the federal processor on or before March 10. And Twenty-first Century Scholars must complete and submit a FAFSA form to claim their Twenty-first Century Scholarships. College Goal Sunday will help all college-bound students, including Twenty-first Century Scholars, complete the FAFSA properly.

Students should attend with their parent or guardian and bring their parents' completed 2006 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2006 income and benefits information. If students worked last year, they should also bring their income information. Students, 24 years or older, may attend alone and bring their own completed 2006 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2006 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 a PIN to file online.

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. 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 learn more about College Goal Sunday or for answers to your specific financial aid questions, call the Learn More hotline toll-free at 1-800-992-2076. Families needing assistance from a Spanish interpreter, sign language interpreter, or who may have other special needs should call 1-800-992-2076 to report which site you will attend. We will try to ensure someone is there to meet your needs.

Now in its 18th year, College Goal Sunday is a charitable collaboration involving the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA), in cooperation with the Learn More Resource Center, the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI), and the Twenty-first Century Scholars program. College Goal Sunday is co-funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., Lumina Foundation for Education and USA Funds, three Indiana-based non-profits with a particular interest in higher education.

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