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Financial aid deadline approaching quickly

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Indiana’s largest financial aid filing event for college is less than two weeks away, and that’s just one of the big events and deadlines coming up soon.

This weekend, 40 sites across Indiana will have financial aid experts available to help Hoosier families file forms to get free money for college. It’s called “College Goal Sunday” and it starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12.

“At the event, students and parents will learn how to look at colleges, learn how to exam what college they're going to, and learn how to think about how they're going to pay for it. It’s also vital to make sure the FAFSA gets filed,” said Bill Wozniak, Marketing Director at Invested.

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Those are the major forms students and parents need to fill out.

“My mom also looks on line for little scholarships. Ronald McDonald has a scholarship, Burger King has scholarships and so does Hollister. There are just so many scholarships you can apply for. For some, you just send a picture of yourself and you can get some money,” said Antony Winfrey, Senior Pike High School.

Winfrey also applied for and got a Lilly Endowment Scholarship. It’s a great scholarship that he didn't think he could get as a B student. That works as a reminder to think positive and apply for anything and everything.

“Sometimes you think, I couldn't go for that, they're not going to give that scholarship to me, but you'd be very surprised. So I remind our students here at Pike High School to start early, and start often,” said Karen Bush, District Graduation Coach at Pike High School.

If you’re interest in the ongoing College Goal Sunday events, you can find the closest place by logging onto the College Goal website. The event is in its 28th year, and has helped tens of thousands of Hoosier families.

“My sister went to school out of state, and I’m going out of state as well, and that gets expensive. Right now I'm working at Walgreens to save money for college expenses. I save $100 out of all my checks. That way, when I do get to college, I can buy food and those small things that my parents won't have to worry about,” said Kelsey Beeler, a senior at Pike High School.

Beeler applied for scholarships last year and filled out her financial aid forms, as soon as they were available in early October. There’s also another filing deadline as well.

“March 10 is the Indiana State filing deadline. If the FAFSA is not received by that date, the students and families are not eligible for any of the generous state of Indiana financial aid, so we always want to make sure they do not miss that,” said Wozniak.

Students at Pike High School have several pieces of advice for prospective college students. The most important is to act fast!

“The longer you wait, the more stressful it's going to be, especially as a senior. You have several things you are trying to accomplish. You are looking for scholarships, applying for schools, and filling out your FASFA. If you try to do it all at one time, it's going to be overwhelming, so it’s just better to knock it all out as soon as you can,” said Winfrey.

Waiting can also reduce your chance of getting a scholarship. It’s also important to apply to colleges early because application fees are often free early on, but some colleges charge fees when deadlines get closer.