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College Goal Sunday offers students, parents free assistance completing financial aid forms

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On Sunday, February 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Garden City High School, students and their parents can meet with collegiate financial aid advisors for one-on-one help in completing the mandatory Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the first step in applying for any federal aid to attend post-secondary education.

“Applying for financial aid can be daunting for many students and their parents, so this Sunday is set aside to help those planning to attend any college, university, or technical school work through this initial step toward securing federal financial aid,” said Kathy Blau, Garden City Community College director of financial aid. “Regardless of where students want to go to school, we will be here to help them with the paperwork. If they are considering attending GCCC, we can help them with that too.”

According to Blau, more than $10,000 in scholarships will be awarded to students at the state-wide event. One attendee will receive a $500 scholarship at each of the 21 College Goal Sunday locations. The scholarship can be used in the Fall 2014 semester at any college or technical education school in the country, provided the student is a first semester freshman in the fall of 2014.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education makes more than $150 billion in post-secondary financial aid available to students throughout the country. College Goal Sunday makes applying for that aid easier.

“Families who have completed their 2013 income tax returns or who bring their 2013 earnings statements to College Goal Sunday at the high school will be able to complete the FAFSA online at one of the computers we will have available,” said Blau. “There will be advisors on-hand to help with those applications. GCHS seniors should bring their iPads to begin the process without waiting for an available space in the computer lab.”

The FAFSA is available in both English and Spanish versions. There will be Spanish interpreters on site for those families needing language assistance.

In Kansas, College Goal Sunday is a non-profit event coordinated by the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (KASFAA) and other interested and dedicated volunteers. Last year at this annual event over 600 Kansas students were helped in obtaining financial aid. College Goal Sunday is supported by funds from USA Funds, KASFAA, and the Federal College Access Challenge Grant administered by the Kansas Board of Regents.