Southeast to Offer Help with Aid Applications Feb. 8

Southeast Missouri State University is one of several sites in the state offering families assistance in filling out the federal financial aid form during College Goal Sunday planned for Feb. 8 across Missouri.

The one-day-only help session will be held on eight college campuses throughout the state to provide hands-on assistance to students and parents completing the 2004-2005 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA).

At Southeast, help will be available from 2 to 4 p.m. in Dempster Hall’s Glenn Auditorium located in Room 104. Directions are posted on the College Goal Sunday Web site at http://www.collegegoalmissouri.com. The event is free.

“We are excited to be able to host this event for the southeast region of the state,” said Karen Walker, director of Financial Aid at Southeast. “This will be a great opportunity for students and parents to get professional assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online. The date of this event is particularly good since it will assure that students are getting the FAFSA done in time to meet most college and state financial aid priority processing deadlines.”

Professionals from the Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority will walk students and parents through the entire FASFA process, offering line-by-line advice on completing the form.

The FAFSA is the primary document used by federal and state governments and by colleges across the country to determine student eligibility for grants, loans and, in some cases, scholarships. Filling out the FAFSA is the first step in finding the financial resources students will need to attend college.

Students will need to bring completed 2003 federal tax forms for themselves and their parents. Students

May need to refer to 2003 W-2 Forms and other records of money earned; 2003 untaxed income records –Social Security, TANF, welfare, or veterans benefits; 2003 bank statements; 2003 business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records; alien registration card (if not a U.S. citizen).  And there’s a bonus. At each of the eight sites sponsored by the Missouri College Goal Sunday program, including at Southeast, one college scholarship will be awarded to two individuals in attendance.

“We know this is a service students and parents want based on requests from regional high school counselors,” Walker said. “So we are planning for a large turnout. The chance of winning a scholarship is just an added bonus of attending this event.”

Although new to Missouri, the College Goal Sunday initiative began in Indiana in 1989 as a charitable effort designed to assist low-income families in the search for financial aid. Since its inception, the program has expanded to other states including Arizona, Kansas, Hawaii, Kentucky, California, Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and this year, Missouri.

In Missouri, the program is being sponsored and underwritten by the Lumina Foundation, the Missouri Department of Higher Education, the Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Professionals and the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority. In addition, various news media and private businesses partner in the promotion of this event.

Other college sites where assistance will be provided with financial aid paperwork are University of Missouri-Columbia, Truman State University, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Drury University, Northwest Missouri State University and William Jewell College.

For more information or to pre-register, visit the Missouri College Goal Sunday Web site at http://www.collegegoalmissouri.com. Questions also may be directed to Financial Aid Services at (573) 651-2253.