Free help available for College Financial Aid
Iowa students and families can get free assistance with forms required for federal financial aid at Iowa College Goal Sunday, held this month in 29 Iowa cities. Locally, the event will be hosted at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 3 to 6 pm at the Dale Howard Family Activity Center.
Volunteers will help students and their families fill out and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of a national program that helps students qualify for federal financial aid. The FAFSA, which is available in free paper and electronic forms from the U.S. Department of Education, is the first step in the qualification process.
“This program is great for anyone who has questions or wants free help with the FAFSA,” said Jennifer Coffman, state coordinator of the 2013 Iowa College Goal Sunday. “It’s especially helpful for students who are low-income or are in the first generation of their families to attend college, or both.”
This year, Iowa College Goal Sunday is a week-long event, and will be held in 29 Iowa communities the locations below beginning Saturday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 24. Students or parents may attend individually, but it’s best if the student and at least one parent or guardian come together. To complete the FAFSA, families should bring, for both the student and parent, the following:
- Social Security number, driver’s license number, and date of birth
- Most recent federal and state tax returns
- W-2 forms or other records of income earned last year
- Current bank statements and investment records
- Records of untaxed income received last year
- 2012 business and farm records
- Alien registration numbers (if not a U.S. citizen)
Students and parents may also register in advance for federal personal identification numbers (PINs) to electronically sign the forms and make future changes. To request a PIN, visit www.pin.ed.gov.