Help with FASFA offered

January 17, 2014

BUCYRUS—The Crawford College Connection is sponsoring a free financial aid workshop called “Focus on the FAFSA” on Sunday, February 2, in the Community Room of the Bucyrus Public Library. The workshop will feature financial aid experts from area colleges. This workshop is open to all Crawford County residents.

This is the fourteenth year for the “Focus on the FAFSA” workshop. Last year over 50 families received help, and Crawford College Connection executive director Margaret Thornton believes there will be even more this year. “We did a survey of those who attended last year and received many positive comments. The financial aid experts were able to take confusing paperwork and make it very understandable. This year because of the economy, there’s even more concern about money for college.”

Thornton stressed the confidentiality of this workshop. “These financial aid advisors are out-of-town professionals who will sit down with parents and work individually with them. The goal is for parents to have the FAFSA completed and ready to file on-line by the end of the work session. This year we will have computer access and someone to help folks who want to file on-line that day at the library.” Thornton noted that anyone wanting to file on-line that day should already have a personal identification numbers (PIN)—one for the student and one for a parent. Those can be obtained early by going to Thornton stressed that all need-based aid and some additional scholarships require the completion of the FAFSA. “Filling it out is the most important way parents can help their students get aid for college,” she added.

Parents should call the Bucyrus Public Library at (419) 562-7327 to schedule an appointment for the session on February 2 . Appointments will be available every twenty minutes from 2-5 p.m. Parents are urged to bring the FAFSA worksheet, available at (extras will be available at the library), their income tax information for this year (or last year’s return if this year’s is not complete), W2’s (or the last December pay stub if W2 has not been received), and information about their investments. The student’s Social Security number is also required on the form. All information will be kept confidential.

Thornton stressed that this work session is different from the high school financial aid nights that are being held throughout the area. “We certainly hope all parents attend their school’s aid night for an overview of the process, but this workshop is actually a hands-on session completing the form with an expert sitting beside parents to help. Whether parents have a few questions or need line by line assistance completing the form, these experts can help them,” Thornton said.