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College-bound students to get free help filing for financial aid through IU Northwest

College Goal Sunday is set for Feb. 12


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Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications
981-4358
erikrose@iun.edu

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing and Communications
980-6802
ccsheid@iun.edu

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Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

College Goal Sunday

Financial aid professionals will volunteer at Indiana University Northwest and 39 other Indiana sites to help college-bound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday, set for 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, February 12. The free assistance program will take place in the Gary campus’s Hawthorn Hall Room 105.

The program is designed to assist Indiana students who are seeking undergraduate admission to a college or technical school in 2012 in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, and loans and scholarships at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide, It 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.

Now in its 23rd year, College Goal Sunday, a charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA), has helped more than 87,000 Indiana students and families complete the FAFSA properly and on time, opening the door to financial aid for college.

To make filing the FAFSA easier, volunteers walk through the form line-by-line and answer families’ individual questions. A Spanish interpreter will be available and computers will be set up outside the Office of Admissions for filing FAFSAs online.

What students should bring

Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parent(s) or guardian(s) and bring their parents’ completed 2011 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2011 income and benefits information. Students who worked last year should bring their income information. Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2011 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2011 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 College Goal Sunday and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered into a drawing for an educational prize. Winners will be notified in March.

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 with a minimum of 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, refrain from using drugs and alcohol, and apply for college financial aid. Upon high school graduation, 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 can help.

Program is a national model

College Goal Sunday has more than tripled its reach, from 10 sites statewide in its first year to 40 sites currently, and it has become a national model to other College Goal Sunday programs. In addition to Indiana, College Goal Sunday now takes place in more than 35 other states.

Helpline open during Financial Aid Awareness Month

ISFAA’s College Goal Sunday is one of the highlights of Financial Aid Awareness Month. In February, students and their families can call the Learn More Resource Center helpline at 800-992-2076 and have their questions answered by financial aid professionals. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education supports the Helpline.

For more information about College Goal Sunday or Financial Aid Awareness Month, call the Helpline at 800-992-2076 or visit www.CollegeGoalSunday.org.

The IU Northwest Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships can be reached at (219) 980-6778.