Volunteers to Help Families Fill Out FAFSA
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA (Feb. 4, 2013) — Iowa students and their families can get free assistance with forms required for federal financial aid at Iowa College Goal Sunday, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 24, in 29 Iowa cities. Southwestern Community College in Creston will host a College Goal Sunday event on Wed., Feb. 20, from 2-7 p.m., in room 119 of the Technical Center.
Volunteers for Iowa College Goal SundaySM 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.”
Students or parents may attend individually, but it’s best if the student and at least one parent or guardian come together. Certain paperwork is required to fill out the forms. (See sidebar.)
Iowa College Goal Sunday is part of the national College Goal SundaySM program, currently managed by USA Funds and held in 40 states and the District of Columbia. A number of Iowa organizations have partnered to plan and present Iowa College Goal Sunday.
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.