POINT PLEASANT — “Money, money, money must be funny in the rich man’s world.”
Many parents may find themselves singing this lyric from Swedish pop band ABBA when their teenage child begins filling out applications to various colleges. When scholarships and grants aren’t enough, another source of financial help is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Much like filing income taxes, the paperwork for the FAFSA can be intimidating for first time college students and parents and for the fourth year in a row FAFSA help is available in Mason County at “College Goal Sunday (CGS).”
Set for 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 at Marshall University’s Mid-Ohio Valley Center (MOVC), CGS is a chance for students and their families to work with financial aid experts and receive free and confidential assistance in filling out the FAFSA, as well as a chance to get more information on other financial aid options that may be available.
According to Heart of Appalachia Counselor and Coordinator for the Mason County CGS Roxanne Smith, CGS is not just for first time college students either, but for any college-aged student and their parents wanting financial aid assistance, as well as adults who are going back to school and those who are thinking of going back to school and want to explore their options.
“College Goal Sunday is made possible through the generosity and dedication of hundreds of volunteers from our state’s colleges and universities, college access programs, community organizations, and the business community,” Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said in a release on CGS. “Such collaborative efforts are the key to ensuring that more West Virginians achieve the dream of earning a college diploma, which will in turn ensure the economic success of our great state.”
In addition to receiving financial aid assistance, Smith also noted those attending CGS also have a chance to win a door prize and even be entered into a drawing for a free iPad, one of which will be given away at each of CGS’s 23 locations across the state. Participants can also receive other needed materials including pen, pencils, and notepads. Smith also said donations of these materials and door prizes are still being taken and can either be dropped off at MOVC, or Smith can be contacted and she will pick them up.
As already stated, the various aspects of CGS are also run by volunteers, which Smith said they could always use more help. Smith noted the financial experts were not volunteers off the street, but other areas available to serve could include greeting and directing the participants and supervising the children’s play area. Those interested in volunteering can also contact Smith.
Students and families attending CGS should bring a driver’s license, both the student’s and parent’s Social Security number, 2012 tax records (or 2011 records if 2012 forms are not yet available), 2012 untaxed income records, and information about investments and bank account balances. All information that is provided will be submitted through the federal government’s secure FAFSA network.
It was also noted that the snow date for CGS is Sunday, Feb. 17. In addition, it was stated that pre-registration is recommended, but not required.
For more information on CGS, contact Smith at 304-674-7204 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.cfwv.com to register.