College Goal Sunday to help with confounding side of college financial aid

College Goal Sunday to help with confounding side of college financial aid

GOSHEN, Ind. — For families of college-bound high schoolers — or students returning to college — the financial aid process can be confusing and difficult, but it should not be a barrier to the advantages that come with a college degree. College Goal Sunday can help make the financial aid process easy to understand and easy to complete, as well as make families aware of financial awards available to them that they might not have been aware.

At LaCasa of Goshen Inc., 202 N. Cottage Ave., from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, three Goshen College financial aid professionals will help local families fill out paperwork, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and answer financial aid questions. The assistance is free and a Spanish translator will be available.

Most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools in the nation require students seeking federal financial aid, including grants and loans, to complete the FAFSA, which must be received by the federal processor on or before March 10. Twenty-first Century Scholars must complete and submit a FAFSA form to claim their scholarships. At 34 sites in 29 Indiana communities, College Goal Sunday will help all college-bound students, including Twenty-first Century Scholars, complete the form properly.

Galen Graber, Goshen College director of student financial aid, said the college has supported and worked with this venture since its inception 14 years ago. One of the program’s benefits is the one-on-one format between a family and an expert.

“We can sit down individually with students and parents and go through the FAFSA, or there is also an ‘express lane’ for people with specific questions,” Graber said. “We especially want to help families for whom this process may be particularly challenging — perhaps those who are facing financial difficulties or are sending their first student to college. We also recognize this as an opportunity for our administrative faculty to demonstrate our school motto, ‘Culture for Service,’ beyond campus.”

Students should attend with a parent or guardian and bring their completed IRS 2003 1040 tax return, W-2 Form or other 2003 income and benefits information. Students who attend without a parent should bring their parents’ completed 1040 tax returns, W-2 Forms or other 2003 income and benefits information. Participating students may receive one of three $300 College Goal Sunday educational awards.

Now in its 15th year, College Goal Sunday is a charitable collaboration involving the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA), in cooperation with the Indiana Career and Postsecondary Advancement Center (ICPAC), the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI), and the Twenty-first Century Scholars program. College Goal Sunday is co-funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., Lumina Foundation for Education and USA Funds. For more information, log on to http://www.collegegoalsunday.org/or call (800) 992-2076.

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.

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Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.

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