Marianne Gurule, Associate Director of Financial Aid, talks with a student about the FAFSA process.

Marianne Gurule, Associate Director of Financial Aid, talks with a student about the FAFSA process.

Even with changes to the U.S. Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid that have made the form easier to fill out, the FAFSA, as it's commonly called, can still can be a daunting task.

That's why the FLC Financial Aid Department is hosting College Goal Saturday -- it's a chance for students and parents to get free help filling out the FAFSA from financial aid professionals.

The event will be held Saturday, February 16, 2013, 1 - 3 p.m., Room 2E of Reed Library (in the basement). The workshop is open to all students and their families, regardless of the colleges applicants plan on applying to or attending.

On College Goal Saturday, both the student and a parent or legal guardian should attend. Bring copies of both the student’s and parents’ 2012 tax returns and W-2s. If 2012 returns haven’t been filed yet, bring 2011 tax returns with 2011 W-2s. 

If possible, before the event register for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.gov. This will allow electronic signing of the FAFSA for faster processing.

A FAFSA must be submitted online or by mail free of charge to the Department of Education before a student can be eligible for federal financial aid -- therefore, the FAFSA should be filed as soon as possible after January 1.

Once the FAFSA is completed and submitted, college financial aid offices can determine which types of federal, state, and/or institutional aid a student qualifies for. Some private scholarships also require that a student have a completed FAFSA on file as a condition for consideration.

The form seeks financial and demographic information from the student and parents. This year, the Department of Education simplified the FAFSA in several ways, including:

  • Editing information on the FAFSA is now easier and more intuitive.
  • When an applicant logs back on to continue working on the application, the system now picks up where the process last left off.
  • The application is now better at knowing when an applicant can skip steps.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office at 970-247-7142 or finaid_off@fortlewis.edu.