College and high school students seeking help in filling out their financial aid forms will be able to receive professional assistance at College Goal Sunday at The University of Texas-Pan American.
UTPA's College Access and Support Programs (CASP) is coordinating the event and both financial aid and admissions staff will be there to help students with filling out the FAFSA. CASP is also partnering with staff from the College of Business Administration and representatives from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) who will provide free tax assistance and preparation, said Barbara J. Garza, associate director of CASP Community Outreach.
"With the help of College Goal Sunday, college can be affordable for everyone," Garza said. "It's open to anyone in the community who needs that assistance in getting their financial aid done and taken care of."
FAFSA is used to determine students' eligibility for federal and state financial aid programs such as grants, loans and work study opportunities.
For students who don't qualify for FAFSA, the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) will be available for them.
"There tends to be a bit of confusion with the TASFA application so unfortunately parents don't feel very comfortable getting that done," Garza said. "Now they'll have someone sit down with them and assist them with their TASFA state financial aid."
Aside from the assistance with financial aid, three lucky participants will be eligible to win a $100 UTPA scholarship through a raffle. The scholarship is only eligible to current students or students planning to attend the University, Garza said.
"This is their opportunity to get a quick $100 scholarship just for coming in to our institution and getting help with financial aid," Garza said.
To get the most out of their two hours at College Goal Sunday, students should bring their and their parents' 2012 tax information, such as W2's, 1040 forms and any other tax return information. Students should also bring with them a valid identification card, such as a high school ID or driver's license, and their Social Security card.
Refreshments and snacks will be provided, as well as free day care where little ones can participate in creating craft projects and watch movies.
For more information, contact Garza at (956) 665-7597.