College Goal Sunday provides free FAFSA help

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Staff reports

INDIANAPOLIS — Financial aid professionals from throughout Indiana will volunteer to help college-bound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday at 2 p.m. Oct. 25.

The free program, which is virtual this year, assists Indiana students in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and federal student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide. The FAFSA must be filed by April 15 to be eligible for Indiana financial aid.

Volunteers will answer families’ individual questions as needed. To attend College Goal Sunday, go to CollegeGoalSunday.org on Sunday, and click the link displayed on that page to enter the virtual event. For the best filing experience, working from a computer/laptop during the event is highly recommended.

Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parent(s) or guardian(s), and parents should bring completed 2019 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2019 income and benefits information. Students who worked last year should bring their income information as well. Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and bring their own completed 2019 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2019 income and benefits information. Students and parents are encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at studentaid.gov before logging in to the event.

Students may also win one of five $1,000 scholarships. Students who attend College Goal Sunday and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $1,000 scholarship. The winners will be notified in April, and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institution selected by those students.

College Goal Sunday can help those students who are participating in the 21st Century Scholars program. 21st Century Scholars are income-eligible students who sign a contract in the seventh or eighth grade promising they will graduate from high school, meet grade-point requirements, fulfill a pledge of good citizenship, 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.

For more information about College Goal Sunday, visit CollegeGoalSunday.org.