INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Two online events Friday will help high school seniors in Indiana understand how to apply for financial aid. FAFSA Friday , part of the state's annual Cash for College initiative, consists of webinars at 12pm and 6pm.
"We're going to walk through this with people on exactly how you fill this out and what you have to do to access dollars [for college]," says Indiana's Commissioner for Higher Education, Teresa Lubbers, in a live interview on WISH-TV's Daybreak.
FAFSA -- Free Application for Federal Student Aid -- is a form for prospective college students to determine their eligibility for student financial aid, including the Pell Grant and federal student loans. The form helps families determine what money they will be able to contribute toward college
"There's a lot of scholarship money, there's federal money, there's state money and there's money provided by the colleges and universities," says Lubbers. "But it's important to know you must fill out the FAFSA to access any of that money."
The two FAFSA Friday webinars will be moderated by financial aid experts Bill Wozniak of ISM College Planning and Heidi Carl from the University of Indianapolis . Together, they will take questions from parents and students in the two 90-minute sessions.
"Part of what we need to remind people about is that the FAFSA form must be filed by March 10th," says Lubbers. "And we have more help on our Cash for College website."
The state's Cash for College website is divided into sections written specifically for students K-12, college and adults. It details things to know for each age group as they apply for aid. The website also features an Indiana College Costs Estimator (ICCE) -- a mobile app designed to help first-time undergraduates better understand what kind of financial aid they might be eligible to receive.
The website also encourages the youngest of students to begin preparing for college by making good grades and, potentially, becoming eligible for Merit aid which is awarded to students who have distinguished themselves academically, artistically, athletically or in some other area.
"We tell everybody it's never too early to start thinking about preparing for college," said Lubbers. "You need to, at an early age, start thinking about getting good grades in school -- that will make scholarships more available to you."
To participate in the FAFSA Friday webinars, click here !
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