College Financial Aid - Nonprofit Offers Free Help To Apply For Financial Aid

College Goal Sunday events offer free help with student aid application

USA Funds®, a nonprofit organization that helps American families benefit from postsecondary education, advises families planning to send students to college during the 2011-2012 academic year to take advantage of free help in applying for financial aid.

USA Funds is sponsoring College Goal Sunday in 10 states during the next several weeks to help students and families navigate the financial aid process. The events will provide free assistance with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the FAFSA.

Dates and websites with additional information about College Goal Sunday events sponsored by USA Funds are as follows:

Arizona - Feb. 12 and 13; www.collegegoalsunday.com.
Florida - Feb. 20 and 27; www.collegegoalsundayflorida.org.
Hawaii - Jan. 23 and 30; www.cgshawaii.org.
Indiana - Feb. 20; www.CollegeGoalSunday.org.
Kansas - Feb. 13; www.CollegeGoal.org.
Maryland - Various dates in January and February; www.collegegoalsundaymd.org.
Michigan - Feb. 12, 13 and 20; http://www.micollegegoal.org.
Mississippi - Feb 26; www.mscollegegoalsunday.org.
Ohio - Feb. 13; www.ohiocollegegoalsunday.org.
Wyoming - Various dates in January, February and March. Dates and locations to be posted at sites.google.com/site/interagencycommunitycoalition/Home.

For information about College Goal Sunday events in other states, visit www.collegegoalsundayusa.org.

The FAFSA is required for most federal financial aid programs, as well as for many state-sponsored student aid programs and for many grants and scholarships awarded by individual colleges and universities. Completing the form can be challenging and time-consuming, however, especially for first-time college students and their families. At College Goal Sunday, financial aid professionals and other volunteers provide free help with the FAFSA.

College Goal Sunday originated in 1989 as a program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association and the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc.

“The federal government is the largest single source of financial aid for postsecondary education,” said Robert C. Ballard, USA Funds senior vice president, access and outreach. “Completing the FAFSA is a critical step in the process of funding higher education. USA Funds supports College Goal Sunday to help families — especially those with no previous experience with the financial aid process — pay for college.”

In addition to providing nearly $300,000 in financial support for the program, USA Funds offers free online FAFSA training to College Goal Sunday volunteers. USA Funds also is distributing the publication “USA Funds Countdown to College™” in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland and Mississippi. The publication promotes College Goal Sunday and provides other information to help students and families plan and prepare for college.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that works to enhance postsecondary education preparedness, access and success by providing and supporting financial and other valued services. For more information about USA Funds, visit www.usafunds.org.

CONTACT: Robert P. Murray, Vice President, Corporate and Marketing Communications, +1-317-806-1283 , [email protected]
Web Site: http://www.usafunds.org

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