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Event will help students navigate paying for college

High school seniors will be given a clear path to federal cash assistance for education after high school on Sunday, Feb. 10. College Goal Sunday brings financial experts together with students and their families to fill out the necessary forms and get access to billions in federal funds available for college students.

Across the country, College Goal Sunday connects students with assistance for school. College Goal Sunday brings our high school students together with tools they need to apply for much needed money for college for free.

Throughout the state, 15 host sites have been set up to assist students and parents on Sunday, Feb. 10. Our site is CSRA RESA Professional Learning Center in Dearing. We will begin our presentation at 2 p.m. Look for the blue and white balloons at 4683 Augusta Highway at the RESA site in Dearing. Financial aid experts will be on site to assist parents and students. One $500 educational drawing will be held for participating students.

Why should I attend?

Applying for financial aid for education beyond high school can be confusing; especially with the paperwork that is required for any federal aid and aid in some states. College Goal Sunday is a free program that helps families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the form that is required to apply for federal financial assistance for higher education opportunities.

Benefits of attending

Get the most financial aid you can; Talk with expert Financial Aid Administrators; In-depth, line-by-line explanation of the FAFSA form; announcement of all filing deadlines.

Who is eligible?

In order to qualify for any federal student financial aid (grants, loans, work-study, or other forms of assistance), applicants must: Be a citizen or eligible non-citizen of the United States with a valid Social Security Number; Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate or pass an approved "ability to benefit" test; Register (or have registered) for Selective Service, if you are a male between the ages of 18 to 25; have no prior or pending drug felony convictions.

What should I bring?

Parents and students should bring their latest tax information and/or last pay stub from the previous year in order to complete the form. The FAFSA form allows families to estimate their financial information, which can be corrected after their taxes have been completed. There is no need to worry about confidentiality because your tax information is for you to complete your form only and will not be shared unless you share it.

All information reviewed by the CGS volunteers will be kept private and confidential and will not be used for any purpose other than helping the students and families apply for financial aid. Students and family identities will be protected to the best extent possible and none of the information being requested will be sent to vendors for other purposes besides applying for aid.

You should bring your Social Security Number; your driver's license (if any); your W-2 forms for the previous year and other records of money earned; and your's and your parents' most recent Federal Income Tax Return.

Online financial aid resources

Visit College Goal Sunday offers students and parents assistance in academic preparedness, postsecondary options and paying for college. Whether you are applying for financial aid for the first time or are a returning student, this web site will assist you in navigating through the academic and financial aid process.

Web posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008

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