Get Free Help Filling Out the FAFSA Saturday, Feb. 20

This financial aid form is a required event for scholarships and grants
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Interested in applying for financial aid for your college-bound high school senior? Is your son or daughter already in college but in need of financial aid? You’ll need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and this Saturday, Feb. 20, you can get free help in filling it out.

You probably already know that students must complete the FAFSA form to be considered for any federal and most state financial aid for college including scholarships and grants. On Saturday, the state of North Carolina has designated more than 65 sites where college financial aid officers and specialists will be on hand to walk applicants through the process for free.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Go to CFNC.org/FAFSAday or call 866-866-CFNC toll-free for a list of event sites and register for the one nearest you. FAFSA Day and other related events are sponsored by the collaboration of College Foundation of North Carolina, the North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and State Employees’ Credit Union.

More FAFSA Help Available (Feb. 22-26)

During the week following FAFSA Day (Feb. 22-26), State Employee Credit Union branches will be ready by appointment to help students and families with FAFSA completion. Families also can get help with the FAFSA the evening of Tuesday, Feb.23 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Greensboro.

A February “FAFSA Phone-In” is another option for students and parents who have only a few questions on completing the FAFSA. Every Tuesday in February 5-8 p.m., financial aid specialists will be available to help at the toll-free number, (866) 866-CFNC (2362).

What You Need to Take With You
To be fully prepared to complete  the FAFSA at one of these February FAFSA events, participants should either file their 2015 federal taxes in advance or arrive with the following:

  1. Both the student’s and parents’ federal 1040 tax forms for 2015 (or W-2 forms and other income and asset documents if completed tax forms are not available).
  2. The student’s and one parent’s FSA ID obtained in advance from the U.S. Department of Education website, fsaid.ed.gov.
  3. A FAFSA on the Web Worksheet with as much information entered as possible. The online worksheet is available at www.fafsa.gov

“Early completion of the FAFSA helps students take advantage of all of the financial aid opportunities available for North Carolinians,” says Marcia Weston, of the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority and CFNC coordinator of the FAFSA Day program. “Students and parents don’t need to worry if they aren’t sure how to answer all of the questions on the form. That’s why we have arranged to have experienced college aid professionals and financial specialists to help at each site.”

Weston also says that filing 2015 federal taxes early makes FAFSA completion easier, noting that most of those who file well in advance of FAFSA Day can then take advantage of the automatic transfer option to enter their tax information directly onto their FAFSA. She says that if a student or parent hasn’t yet filed taxes, he or she can enter estimated income information on the FAFSA, and updated tax information can be transferred to the FAFSA at a later date.

More information is available on college and career planning on the College Foundation of North Carolina website, CFNC.org. Families will find college cost estimators, lists of scholarship, grant and loan opportunities, information about North Carolina’s 529 college savings plan, career descriptions and requirements, virtual tours of more than 100 of the state’s college campuses, and online college admission and financial aid applications.

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