Morgan Knob, 17, a Moffat County High School senior, holds a form for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which all prospective college students must complete to apply for federal financial aid. Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus, 2801 W. Ninth St., will host a free seminar to help students fill out the FAFSA from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today.

Morgan Knob, 17, a Moffat County High School senior, holds a form for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which all prospective college students must complete to apply for federal financial aid. Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus, 2801 W. Ninth St., will host a free seminar to help students fill out the FAFSA from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today.

CNCC hosts event to help college-bound students with finances

If you go ...

What: College Goal Sunday, a national event to help prospective college students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

When: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today

Where: Room 115 of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s academic building, 2801 W. Ninth St.

— The event is free and residents can come at any time during the two-hour period. Participants and their families should bring 2011 tax records.

Quotable

“We’re just here to help guide them along the process.”

—Mindy Shue, Colorado Northwestern Community College assistant registrar, on College Goal Sunday.

Getting accepted to Colorado Mesa University was the easy part, Morgan Knob said.

Now, the Moffat County High School senior has to figure out how to pay for her education.

She’s applied for three scholarships —“I’m going to apply for a lot more,” she said — but there’s one looming item on her to-do list.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the gateway to getting grants, student loans and any other financial help from Uncle Sam.

To many college-bound students and their families, it also can be a daunting step in the path to higher learning, and Knob is no exception.

“My parents never went to college, so they don’t know what this is, either,” she said. “So there’s really nobody to help me.”

Enter College Goal Sunday, a national initiative that guides students like Knob through the maze of questions on the FAFSA.

The free event takes place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today in room 115 of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s academic building, 2801 W. Ninth St.

In the past, college officials have hosted the event on Sundays, “and sometimes attendance is good,” said Tresa England, dean of enrollment services, but “it’s been sporadic.”

“We thought we would give it a try on a Saturday and see if more people are out and about,” she said.

College Goal Sunday is open to prospective college students of all ages, regardless of what college they plan to attend, assistant registrar Mindy Shue said.

Financial aid specialists will be on hand to answer questions as students and their families fill out the FAFSA.

“We’re just here to help guide them along the process,” Shue said.

Participants — or their parents, if they’re high school students—should bring their 2011 tax records. If they haven’t done their taxes yet, they can submit estimates and amend their FAFSA application later online.

Once prospective students complete the FAFSA, they can have it sent to colleges they plan to attend.

“If they haven’t really decided which college, (they can) list all of them that they’re thinking” of attending, Shue said.

College Goal Sunday is a reminder for students to begin thinking about financial aid instead of waiting for the 11th hour.

Scheduling of the event is designed to “encourage students to apply for financial aid early,” England said.

For more information about the FAFSA, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov.

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