CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (Feb. 4, 2014) — Iowa students and families can get free assistance with forms required for federal financial aid at Iowa College Goal Sunday, held throughout February and March in 38 Iowa locations.  Southwestern Community College in Creston will host a College Goal Sunday event on Wed., February 19, 2014, from 3-7 p.m. in room 119 of the Technical Center.

“Iowa College Goal Sunday events provide the opportunity for students and families to receive professional guidance and assistance with financial aid forms, helping to ensure a student has the best chance at the maximum amount of financial aid available to them,” said Jennifer Coffman, state coordinator of Iowa College Goal Sunday. “For many, the financial aid process is a scary thing and getting free help from a professional financial aid expert helps them relax a bit and reduces the overall stress planning for college can have on a family.”

Volunteers for Iowa College Goal Sunday 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 year we’ve expanded not only our locations, but also our timeframe in an effort to provide help to all families at the time that fits their schedule.” said Coffman. “Moving from a single week of events to 58 events over a two-month period provides flexibility to both the families we help and our partnering organizations hosting these events.”

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.)

Events will be held in Ames, Calmar, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Centerville, Clarinda, Clinton, Council Bluffs, Creston, Davenport, Denison, Des Moines, Dubuque, Emmetsburg, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Iowa Falls, Keokuk, Lamoni, Marshalltown, Mason City, Monticello, Muscatine, Ottumwa, Perry, Sheldon, Sioux City, Storm Lake, Waterloo, Waverly and West Burlington. For information on locations, dates and times, please visit www.IowaCGS.org. Details are also available from the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) at (877) 272-4692 or .

Iowa College Goal Sunday is part of the national College Goal Sunday 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.