By Kathy Kreag Richardson Indiana State Representative, District 29
The single most important form for helping students receive money to go to college is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. The FAFSA form is required for students, regardless of family income, to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide. To help current and college-bound students and their families better navigate the application process, multiple financial aid experts will be providing free assistance at 39 sites on Sunday, Nov. 5, during College Goal Sunday.
In Indiana, the FAFSA form must be filed by April 15, 2018, in order for current and college-bound students to be eligible for financial aid. Completing the form correctly and by the deadline can be daunting, so the help provided by financial aid professionals starting at 2 p.m. on Nov. 5 is key.
Locations nearby where financial aid experts will be offering help so that the FAFSA form can be filed online in one afternoon include Westfield High School and Ivy Tech Community College at Fall Creek Parkway. Visit www.CollegeGoalSunday.org for a statewide list of sites.
Students going to a College Goal Sunday event should attend with a parent or legal guardian, and parents should bring completed 2016 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms and other 2016 income and benefits information. Students who worked last year should also bring their income information.
Students who are 24 years old or older can attend alone and bring their completed 2016 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms, and other 2016 income and benefits information.
Before coming to an event, students and parents are encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at fsaid.ed.gov. At the event, experts will go through the online form line-by-line while answering any questions, and most locations will have Spanish interpreters.
Attendees of a College Goal Sunday event will not only receive free help, but will also be entered into a drawing for one of five $1,000 scholarships.
For those who are 21st Century Scholars, please remember that submitting a completed FAFSA form on time is a requirement of your pledge.
Don't miss out on securing financial aid to help pay for higher education expenses. Visit www.CollegeGoalSunday.org to learn more about the FAFSA and locations where free help filing the form will be provided on Sunday, Nov. 5.
Kathy Kreag Richardson is a Republican State Representative from District 29, which includes Noblesville, and has served in the legislature since 1992. She also is the elections administrator for Hamilton County. You may contact her at email@example.com.