The University of Texas-Pan American will host College Goal Sunday (CGS) Feb. 12 to assist students with financial aid and familiarize them with the campus.
This event, sponsored by College Access and Support Programs Community Outreach, will be held from 2-4 p.m. at UTPA's Visitor's Center and Express Lab.
"This activity is open to the public and draws in hundreds of people to the University," said Barbara Jean Garza, associate director of special programs at UTPA. "It is beneficial for students because they get to learn about financial aid assistance, various programs and student organizations."
CGS is a nonprofit program that provides free support and information to families applying for financial assistance to fund higher education.
During the event, financial aid and educational professionals from high schools, colleges, universities and communities will help families of college-bound students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
FAFSA is the federally required form for students seeking financial aid, which includes grants, loans and work-study opportunities, throughout the nation.
"This annual event targets both high school and college students who need assistance with their financial aid application," said Garza. "We want all students to have the opportunity to apply for financial assistance for college."
CGS is funded by the Lumina Foundation for Education and managed by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NAFSAA) and is supported by Texas A&M University.
The event is an opportunity for students to complete their financial aid applications with the assistance from trained FAFSA experts and UTPA professionals.
"Students sometimes get discouraged because the application process may be confusing or difficult, but with this event, they can come in and get the assistance they need," Garza said.
Parents and students should bring their latest tax information for 2011 and/or their last pay stub from all employers. If a student doesn't have this information, FAFSA allows families to estimate financial information, which can be corrected after their taxes have been completed. Taxes do not have to be filed with the IRS by the CGS event.
Several UTPA scholarship drawings will be held, and CGS will offer a $250 scholarship toward a student's college textbooks. Door prizes will also be made available.
"CGS is a way to encourage a college-going culture in our community," said Garza. "We'd like to encourage students to visit the College Goal Sunday website to learn more about the event and what they'll need to bring. This event is a way for our institution to invite students to our campus and experience the encouraging atmosphere of UTPA."
For more information, contact Garza at (956) 665-7562 or visit www.collegegoalsundayusa.org.