Financial aid application help offered

Krystle Wagner • Feb 11, 2016 at 2:00 PM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — Are you or your children enrolling in post-secondary education?

From 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, financial aid representatives from local colleges will provide free assistance in filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. The MI College Goal event will be held at Grand Haven High School for anyone who will be enrolled in post-secondary education this coming fall.

If you plan to complete the form at the event, you should bring a parent/guardian, 2015 federal tax return, or W-2 and 1099 forms.

Kim McLaughlin, director of Tri-Cities College Access Network, said every family should complete FAFSA regardless of their income level. She said some merit-based scholarships require the form to be completed, and it can also help students in receiving loans down the road.

In a press release, EduGuide President Bryan Taylor said the FAFSA form is important in obtaining funds for “college and vocational training.”

“Our volunteers are there to ensure families can complete the form ahead of the March 1 priority date, ensuring they’ll be able to maximize their funding,” he said.

Individuals are encouraged to complete the form by March 1 because they will then have the best chance of receiving more funds, but the form can be completed at any time, McLaughlin said.

Although some people think filling out FAFSA is daunting, McLaughlin said the online application makes it easier. Information is electronically pulled from tax records and application questions are eliminated if they don’t apply.

“It’s really worth taking the time to do it,” McLaughlin said.

If you can’t attend the upcoming event in Grand Haven, more than 30 sites around the state will also hold MI College Goal events this month. Other sites can be found by visiting www.micollegegoal.org/.

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