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AIC hosts free financial aid program, 'College Goal Sunday,' on Jan. 31

Date: 1/18/2010

SPRINGFIELD College-bound students and their parents can receive free assistance in filing the federal financial aid application on College Goal Sunday, Jan. 31, at 2 p.m. at American International College (AIC) in the Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to receive many types of federal, state and private financial aid, and must be completed by college deadlines, some as early as Feb. 1.

The sixth annual Massachusetts College Goal Sunday will provide information on college financial aid and free on-site help to complete the FAFSA. At 26 locations across Massachusetts, College Goal Sunday's team of volunteer financial aid and higher education experts will offer information on the many viable post-high school options. Locations are listed at .

College Goal Sunday services are free and available to anyone entering college in 2010, and low-income, first-generation students are especially encouraged to attend. Assistance is also available for adult students preparing to enroll in college in 2010.

"The goal in College Goal Sunday is to increase the amount of financial aid provided to Massa-chusetts students, and we can do that by helping them to successfully complete the financial aid application," said Michael Albano, College Goal Sunday Springfield site coordinator. "I encourage every family to file the FAFSA or they will never know how much financial aid they might have received. The cost of college and the complexity of the form may intimidate some people, and that's why we are here to help parents fill it out correctly and prevent unnecessary delays in receiving financial aid offers."

The FAFSA is required to be eligible for federal student aid programs, such as Pell grants, Stafford and Perkins loans and federal work-study programs. Also, most states and colleges use FAFSA information to award financial aid packages. College Goal Sunday will feature a presentation on college financial aid as well as one-on-one counseling on how to complete the FAFSA. Parents and students are encouraged to bring as much of the following information as possible in order to complete the FAFSA:

A FAFSA Personal Identification Number, available at, to be used to electronically file the form.

Most recent tax returns

Social Security number

Driver's license

2009 W-2

2009 untaxed income records

2009 bank statements

2009 business and investment records

Alien registration card for non-U.S. citizens

Applying for financial aid may intimidate some college-bound students, particularly those who are first-generation and adults. In other cases, completing the FAFSA is complicated for filers who are non-English speakers. College Goal Sunday offers trained volunteers and translators to assist.

Students and families who are unable to attend College Goal Sunday at AIC should visit to find other locations. Unless otherwise noted, College Goal Sunday will be taking place Jan. 31 at 2 p.m.

College Goal Sunday is a volunteer-driven effort sponsored by Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MEFA), American Student Assistance and the Lumina Foundation for Education. College Goal Sunday was founded by the Indiana Student Financial Aid Administrators.

To register or find more information on College Goal Sunday, please visit For questions or additional information, e-mail or call 877-4CGSMAS.