Students to Get Free Assistance Completing Financial Aid Forms at College Goal Sunday

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Feb. 3, 2008 – Graduating high school seniors and their parents seeking college financial aid information, including assistance with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form are invited to participate in Missouri’s sixth annual College Goal Sunday planned for Feb. 8 at Southeast Missouri State University.  The event will be held in Glenn Auditorium of Dempster Hall on the Cape Girardeau campus.

Twenty-four sites in Missouri are hosting “College Goal Sunday” programs. The event is scheduled for 2-4 p.m.

One student at each of the 24 locations will receive a $500 scholarship to any college or trade school in the country, provided they are a first semester freshman in the fall of 2009.

Professional financial aid advisors will offer information to those attending about types and sources of financial aid, financial aid application forms students need to complete, and tips for completing the FAFSA. Students and families also will receive a one-on-one opportunity to get free individual help in completing their FAFSA, the first step to apply for federal aid.

“Financial need is the difference between the total cost of attending a specific college and the amount a family is expected to contribute toward that cost,” said Karen Walker, director of Financial Aid Services at Southeast. “The FAFSA information determines the amount the family is expected to contribute. We hope that students and parents can leave that afternoon with their FAFSA submitted to the Department of Education. If they can’t do that, we hope they have gained enough information to complete it at home at their convenience.”

Before the event, students and parents can register for a PIN (personal identification number), which is required for the electronic filing of the FAFSA, at www.pin.ed.gov or they can register the day of the event. Families should bring their 2008 income tax returns and 2008 W–2 forms, or their 2008 year–end pay stubs and 2007 tax returns. Families who have not completed their 2008 income tax forms can learn valuable information to help them finish filling out the FAFSA at home.

The College Goal Sunday(SM) program was created by the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association with funding from Lilly Endowment, Inc., and with supplemental support from Lumina Foundation for Education. In Missouri, College Goal Sunday is a non-profit event coordinated by the Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel (MASFAP) and other interested and dedicated volunteers. This annual event is sponsored by Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE), Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) and Lumina Foundation for Education.

College Goal Sunday in Missouri helps students get the money they need to attend college. Every year, the U.S. Department of Education makes more than $67 billion in post-secondary financial aid available to students throughout the nation. College Goal Sunday makes applying for financial aid easier.

For complete information on College Goal Sunday participating sites, visit www.collegegoalmissouri.com.