Complete the FAFSA: We’ll help you
Are you headed to college next year, or are you the parent of someone who is? If so, no doubt there’s one thing weighing on your mind right now: I’ve got to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is the application all colleges and universities require if a student is seeking financial assistance to go to school, and is used to determine the amount and type of financial aid for which you qualify.
By its very name, the FAFSA is a “free application.” Unfortunately, some online companies convincingly sell services for filing the FAFSA and fool people into thinking they cannot complete the process on their own without paid professionals.
Completing the FAFSA can be an intimidating process because important decisions rest upon filling it out. You might not know where to start. Like anything else, it so often helps to be guided by someone who’s familiar with the process. It’s even better if that someone is face-to-face with you, taking you through the steps and answering your questions as they come up.
This is exactly the opportunity that National College Goal Sunday provides. This year it will be held Feb. 9 from 2-4 p.m. There are 16 college locations throughout Colorado that are participating, including two local Colorado Mountain College campuses in Glenwood Springs and Rifle. It’s open to all students and their parents (regardless of the college the student is attending), and it’s free.
Financial aid professionals will be on hand to acquaint you with the process and answer questions as they come up. The computer labs will be open so that you can begin and finish the online application. Additionally, other college staff will be available to offer information about CMC degree programs and the admissions process.
If you will have filed your 2013 tax returns by College Goal Sunday, we’ll demonstrate how you can transfer all your tax information via the IRS link directly to your FAFSA, and you could walk away on Feb. 9 having completed the entire FAFSA process.
If, however, you will not yet have filed, you can bring your W-2s from last year to use as an estimate. We’ll give you the tools and resources you’ll need to complete the form.
We’re participating in College Goal Sunday because we believe everyone deserves free help to complete their FAFSA. The staff at Colorado Mountain College wants to grow this resource for the community and be there to support students in their first year of college all the way through to their graduation.
Deadlines for completing the FAFSA vary by school and for some state schools can be as early as March 1. It must be completed each year you’re in college. Why not make it your goal — with our help — to check it off your list on Feb. 9?
Natalie Torres is a financial aid specialist at CMC in Glenwood Springs. College Goal Sunday will be held at CMC in Glenwood Springs (1402 Blake Ave.) and in Rifle (3695 Airport Road) Sunday, Feb. 9, from 2-4 p.m. There is no need to RSVP. Call 945-8961 for more information (ask for Janelle Cook in Rifle or Natalie in Glenwood).
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.