Once again, the Indiana University Northwest Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will participate in College Goal Sunday on Feb. 15, as universities around the state of Indiana assist Hoosier families with preparation of studentsí Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The event will run from 2 p.m. until approximately 4 p.m. in Hawthorn Hall Room 107.
For Indiana students seeking undergraduate admission to a college or technical school in 2009, it is important to file the FAFSA so that it is received by federal processors by March 10. By filing on time, students have an improved chance of receiving federal and state grants, loans, scholarships, and other financial aid. Each year, hundreds of volunteers assist an average of 5,000 students and parents in filling out the federal aid application.
On Feb. 15, IU Northwest will serve as one of 36 sites statewide where families can obtain assistance in filling out their studentsí FAFSAs. Financial aid professionals from IU Northwest will walk through the FAFSA line-by-line and answer familiesí individual questions. This year, all sites will offer FAFSA online capabilities. Students need not plan to enroll at IU Northwest in order to take advantage of the College Goal Sunday program on campus.
This year, students who attend College Goal Sunday will qualify for a chance to win an educational prize of $1,000 to put toward their college expenses. One student from northern Indiana who utilizes College Goal Sunday will receive the $1,000 prize. Separate $1,000 prizes will be available to one student from central Indiana and one student from southern Indiana.
Filling out the FAFSA is the crucial first step for students who wish to obtain financial aid to help fund their educational expenses. In 2007-2008, the state of Indiana awarded nearly $213 million in financial aid to more than 65,000 students.
Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parents or guardians and bring their parentsí completed 2008 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 forms and other 2008 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 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.
To learn more about College Goal Sunday, or for answers to specific financial aid questions, students or parents should call the Learn More Indiana hotline toll-free at (800) 992-2076. Families needing assistance from a Spanish interpreter or sign language interpreter, or those who may have other special needs, should call the hotline to report which site they will attend.
Now in its 20th year, College Goal Sunday is a charitable collaboration involving the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA), in cooperation with Learn More Indiana, 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.
IU Northwest is pleased once again to join other Indiana colleges and universities in offering FAFSA assistance during College Goal Sunday activities. For more information, visit www.CollegeGoalSunday.org.