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College Goal Sunday in Louisiana Continues on March 6

February 29, 2016

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's ninth annual College Goal Sunday events will be held on March 6, 2016, from 1:30-4:00 p.m. at nine locations around the state. The purpose of College Goal Sunday is to provide students and their families with free professional assistance in completing the primary student financial aid form, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

  Completing the FAFSA is the first step to take in order to receive most forms of federal student aid including Pell Grants, low-interest federal student loans and to participate in the federal Work Study program. In addition, several state student financial aid programs, including the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) scholarship program and the Louisiana Go Grant program, require completion of the FAFSA to qualify for and access funds. Many campus-based institutional scholarships also require completion of the FAFSA.   College Goal Sunday is a national initiative designed to help students and parents navigate the paperwork barriers that stand between them and the money they need to attend college. Completing the form correctly with detailed income, tax and other information can be a difficult task. On College Goal Sunday, financial aid professionals from Louisiana colleges and universities will be on hand to provide free line-by-line assistance.   Anyone, from a soon-to-be high school graduate to a returning adult student, who is planning to attend any post secondary institution that participates in the Federal Title IV Aid programs during the 2016-2017 academic year can benefit from attendance. This includes public, private, technical, community, proprietary and career colleges.     Pre-registration for the event is encouraged to ensure that each site has the resources needed to assist all participants. To do so, log on to http://www.osfa.la.gov and click the on College Goal Sunday link. The website also contains detailed information including the specific  documentation participants will need to bring to the event. The website also lists over 170 Internal Revenue Service VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites statewide where low income families may receive free tax preparation assistance prior to College Goal Sunday.   Doors will open at each site at 1:30 p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 2:00 p.m. Attendees are advised to arrive in time to sign in and be seated prior to 2:00 p.m.      

IMPORTANT: Both the student and a parent must have a Federal Student Aid ID (FSAid) to electronically sign their FAFSA. Students and parents planning to attend a College Goal Sunday event, or to file a FAFSA later this spring, should apply for an FSAid now at https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm Students and parents who previously had a FAFSA Personal Identification Number (PIN) must also apply for and receive an FSAid as the PIN numbers are no longer valid. For assistance in completing the FSAid request, contact LOSFA at custserv@la.gov or 800-259-5626.   College Goal Sunday Louisiana is sponsored by the Louisiana Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (LASFAA) and the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA). Funding is provided by a grant from the National College Access Network (NCAN).   In addition to FAFSA completion assistance and information on federal and state aid programs, College Goal Sunday attendees will have the opportunity to learn about several related topics:  

·         LOSFA staff will be in attendance at all sites to explain the TOPS processing cycle and  to answer any questions relating to TOPS and other state aid programs   ·         Members of the Louisiana Council of Student Body Presidents (COSPB) (the organization for postsecondary Student Government Association members) will be in attendance at a number of sites to provide information about college life in general, adjusting from high school to college, and other helpful social and study tips.  

·         The Louisiana JumpStart Coalition will have representatives present at the Southern University Baton Rouge and University of Louisiana Lafayette, sites to provide free financial literacy information to attendees.  

The nine March 6, 2016 Louisiana College Goal Sunday site locations in Louisiana are:   March 6, 2016    Alexandria • Central Louisiana Technical Community College Baton Rouge • Southern University Gonzales • River Parishes Community College Lafayette • University of Louisiana at Lafayette Morgan City • South Central Louisiana Community College New Orleans • Southern University (SUNO) Ruston • Louisiana Tech University Shreveport • Louisiana State University Shreveport • Southern University Shreveport  

For more information, visit www.osfa.la.gov or contact the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance at (225) 219-1012 or (800) 259-5626, or by Email at custserv@la.gov.   # # #