Get help filing for financial aid for free on College Goal Sunday

Stretching Your Dollar
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Paying for college is a tall task for most parents and students. Fortunately, the biggest single-day event to help with that is just three weeks away. Sunday, February 23 is College Goal Sunday.

"We take our day job hats off, and we just volunteer for the great effort.  This is the 31st year of College Goal Sunday.  It helps with all those financial aid forms you have to file," said Bill Wozniak, College Goal Sunday Co-Chair.

You can fill out the forms by yourself or with help.  But why not get the help, it's free and there are hundreds of volunteers around the state.

It's simple—families just show up at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 23 at one of the sites, and they'll get walked right through the FAFSA, step-by-step.  "And before they leave, they'll file the FAFSA," said Wozniak

The average time it takes is only 10 to 15 minutes with some taking longer for more complicated filings. The volunteer helpers will be at 37 sites around the state. Six or seven of those FAFSA locations are located in or near Indianapolis.

FAFSA experts like Robert Sommers say you'll learn a lot when you go to a College Goal Sunday location.

"Here are just some of the things that people get help with.  Are you eligible for some federal money? Are you eligible for some state money?  Maybe the thing that gets left out the most is money from the institution that the student didn't know they would be qualified for," said Robert Sommers, FAFSA expert.

So what should you bring to College Goal Sunday, aside from yourself?  They have a list on the website, but suffice it to say, you should bring the items you need to file your taxes.

"Bring things you would use to do your taxes, and it's for the 2018 taxes, not the ones we're doing right now.  It's for the 2018 taxes, because they're filed and done and they are generally similar to what you'll see in 2019," said Wozniak.

You can always fill out the forms yourself, but College Goal Sunday is a one stop location where it just takes a matter of minutes.

"You can certainly do them yourself because the FAFSA tells them to exactly what to do. For example, the form will show you to pull certain lines from your tax return. But if you're not sure, if you bring your information to College Goal Sunday, we can help walk them through everything and make sure they include everything that's needed," said Sommers.

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