Need Help Applying for College Financial Aid?


by Lisa Thompson

Each year, Minnesota College Goal Sunday workshops are held throughout Minnesota from January to the beginning of May to help students and their parents apply for financial aid. While the workshops are intended for low-income families and those with no family history of attending college, all students are welcome to attend. Pre-registration is not required. Find a workshop location near you.

 

The workshops generally run for two hours, so plan to arrive on time. A trained financial aid professional will help you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, line by line. This free federal form determines:

 

  • the amount and type of federal and state aid (grants, work study, and student loans) you may be eligible to receive
     
  • how much families are expected to pay out of pocket  for their child to attend college

 

Some college and universities also use the results to award grants and scholarships offered by their school. You can also estimate your eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant, Minnesota State Grant, and federal education tax benefits by using the Minnesota financial aid estimator.

 

Students are encouraged to attend with a parent (or legal guardian) and will need to bring the following information for both themselves and their parents:

 

  • Social Security number or alien registration number (if not a U. S. citizen)
  • Driver’s license number, if available (student only)
  • Previous year’s tax information or federal income tax return
  • W-2 forms or other records of income earned
  • Current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds, and other investments
  • Business or farm records, if applicable
  • Records of untaxed income (such as child support received, payments to tax-deferred pension plans, veteran's benefits, or military or clergy allowances)

 

A $500 scholarship will be award to several students drawn from those who attended statewide. The scholarship can be used at any college or university nationwide and will be paid directly to the school on the student’s behalf.

 

If you can’t attend or still need help figuring out the financial aid process, consider contacting the financial aid office at the school you want to attend.

 

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