Financial aid can often be confusing to families readying students for higher education.

To act as a guide through this process, Anderson University will serve as a host site for College Goal Sunday 2006, a statewide charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (IFSAA) that provides free information and assistance for families filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“We’re here to help anyone,” said Kenneth Nieman, director of student financial services at Anderson University. “It’s a time to get FAFSA filed and get questions answered.”

Anderson University is only one of 34 sites statewide hosting College Goal Sunday 2006 and has been with the program since it started 17 years ago. A staff of trained volunteers will be available to walk families and students through the process of filing the FAFSA form.

“We offer a number of volunteers from the area,” said Nieman. “We have the financial staff from Anderson University and Ivy Tech from both the Anderson and Muncie sites. The volunteers come right out of colleges and universities to help students and families.”

Students 23 years of age or younger are asked to attend with a parent or guardian and bring their parents’ completed IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 form or other income and benefits information. Students 24 years of age or older may attend alone and are asked to bring their own completed IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 form or other income and benefits information.

The event begins at 2 p.m. and will be located in the Reardon Auditorium lobby on the Anderson University campus.

“As they come, there will be tables for people to be seated. FAFSA forms will be available. A quick overview of the form itself and the sections will be given,” said Nieman. “As they have questions, they simply raise their hand and a volunteer will come by to help. It does not take long, so people should be there promptly at 2 o’clock.”

Students who attend any of the College Goal Sunday 2006 sites and complete an evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for an educational prize worth several hundred dollars. Three prizes, worth $300 each will be awarded statewide: One for northern Indiana, one of central Indiana and one for southern Indiana. The winners will be notified in March and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institutions selected by winning students.

According to Nieman, College Goal Sunday 2006 is not only a great opportunity for families to get the FAFSA form in on time and correctly, but serves as motivation to begin the higher education process.

“Students don’t have to have a particular school in mind. They can list up to six schools they wish to attend,” said Nieman.

College Goal Sunday 2006 is a cooperative, charitable effort of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association. The program is offered in cooperation with Learn More Resource Center, the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana and the Twenty-first Century Scholars Program. It is funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc., Lumina Foundation for Education and USA Funds, three Indiana-based nonprofit organizations with a particular interest in higher education.

Trending Video