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Indiana organization helps with financial aid application process

Event helps students fill out financial aid forms – News 8 at 10

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For many current or soon-to-be Hoosier college students, Sunday was just the beginning of their journey to finance their college education.

INvested hosted its annual “College Goal Sunday” at 40 sites across the state. Organizer Matt Krieg was among those helping students and parents fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form at Beech Grove High School.

“It is the first step, Krieg said. “It is the most important form in financial aid because everything sort of starts from this form.”

There is a sense of urgency for those applying because the government’s new FAFSA portal was supposed to go live last fall, but the rollout was delayed until January. Krieg said that shortens the time frame people have to complete their FAFSA forms.

“The issue is the processing has been delayed,” Krieg said. “So, in years past, you’ve had from Oct. 1, and in Indiana the state priority deadline is to get this completed by April 15. So, you’ve had time to get help and be able to do that.”

The new FAFSA form has fewer questions. Elena Wei remembers spending more time on the forms when her son went to college. It was easier the second time around with her daughter.

“It just took us around 30 minutes,” Wei said. “It’s getting better. I think the first time we did it, it was longer.”

The type and amount of financial aid is awarded based on a family’s income and assets.

If a student is approved for a loan, they have to go through entrance counseling and sign a promissory note saying they will pay it back. Filling out a FAFSA form could also make students eligible for a scholarship.

“Scholarships are saying ‘Hey, you’re trending toward college, you’ve picked a major, you’ve filled out 10 applications and you’ve completed a FAFSA,’” Krieg said. “That shows that scholarship organization that you’re moving along that way. You’re trending toward college.”

INvested will hold another FAFSA counseling session in the fall. The organization’s website provides help with filling out FAFSA forms.