INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the key to getting the federal student aid owed to students but filling out that notoriously difficult document can be made harder for first-generation college students or parents who never filled out the document themselves.
College Goal Sunday aims to help out anyone who needs it. Financial experts across the state donate their time to help families fill out the document in 39 locations across the state, all at no cost to the families.
Matt Kreg, a volunteer, said, “It’s just about access right? So having 39 locations throughout the state covering all corners of the state really gives everyone the opportunity to come and fill out the form online.”
He says everyone might not have internet access at home to fill out this form.
“Sometimes it’s just about piece of mind form with some help,”Kreg said. “Maybe they’re not so tech savvy and they just want some help but it’s also someone who’s an expert in financial aid that can answer those questions they may have as they go through the process.”
One high school senior at the Beech Grove High School location said she simply would not have been able to do this without help.
Kate Lottere, a high school senior, said, “I really like it. It definitely helps out, especially with me and mom having a few questions. Some of the questions are just worded weirdly so it definitely helps that Matt was here to help us out.”
Indiana State University President Deborah Curtis says the state of Indiana alone left $65 million of federal aid on the table just because students did not apply for it.
“There’s a lot of money out there and the worst thing you can have to happen is dollars available that go unused because that means people are not accessing these opportunities,” Curtis said.
Curtis says the FAFSA form is often used for private need-based scholarships and to determine student work study eligibility.
“It allows students to have an on-campus job that helps pay their bills and also provides some funding for them as students,” Curtis said. “We all know pocket money really matters when you’re in college and it really helps you engage in all the opportunities on a campus.”
This was the 34th year for college goal Sunday. The next event will be on Feb. 26, 2023. If you want to sign up to volunteer you can learn more on their website.