One week before the Super Bowl and all the festivities surrounding it, the University of Maine at Presque Isle will host an annual party of its own for high school and college students – College Goal Sunday.
Staff members will be on hand at two locations on Sunday, Jan. 29, beginning at 2 p.m. – in Folsom 105 on the UMPI campus and also at the Houlton Higher Education Center – to assist students in completing and filing their FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid] forms. This free event is open to the entire community. High school seniors and parents are especially encouraged to attend, along with currently enrolled college students needing assistance.
The University is one of 10 sites across Maine hosting College Goal Sunday. The purpose of the event is to help students and families in completing the FAFSA form – the first step in receiving monetary help for college, and a step that is repeated every year that a student is in college. College Goal Sunday, sponsored by the Finance Authority of Maine and coordinated by TRiO College Access Services at UMPI, is a free event that helps high school seniors and their families, current college students, or anyone needing to complete a FAFSA form.
"These forms can be daunting," Darylen Cote, campus TRiO College Access Services Director and Site Coordinator of College Goal Sunday, said. "This event will walk individuals through the form, line by line if necessary, to make sure they have a clear understanding of how to fill it out properly. If students bring all the necessary paperwork, they can actually fill it out and submit it during the event."
Cote said that students and their parents should bring their most recent tax information, such as completed IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 statements and other income and benefits information, along with their Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign the form electronically. This PIN can be obtained in advance by going to www.pin.ed.gov. It also can be obtained the day of the event. The 2011 taxes do not have to be completed to file the FAFSA. Estimates may also be used.
Both paper applications and computers to fill out online FAFSA's will be available, as well as financial aid experts to assist. Cote and Danette Madore, TRiO Upward Bound Coordinator, will serve as the University's FAFSA program co-presenters.
During the event, students can register for a drawing to win one of 20 $500 scholarships from FAME. The drawing will be held Feb. 15 to allow for several other College Goal Sunday events to be completed. Anyone who is planning to attend college next year and who attends an event is eligible for this drawing.