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College Goal Sunday Feb. 22 offers financial aid workshops to students and parents
By Gail Fagan, Public Affairs Representative
381-2741
Posted: 02/09/2009
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Students and parents interested in acquiring financial aid to help pay for a college education can meet with experts Sunday, Feb. 22 from 2-4 p.m. during a free College Goal Sunday event held in the Student Services Building at The University of Texas-Pan American.

In addition to receiving assistance with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), participants will be provided with information about admissions, grants, scholarships, loans and other college-going issues. The FAFSA is used to determine a student’s eligibility for federal and state financial aid programs and the priority deadline for its submittal is April 1.

College Goal Sunday is a national program providing free financial aid workshops for students across the country in order to remove financial need as a barrier to obtaining higher education. Texas began its participation with College Goal Sunday in 2006 and has several partners located in the Rio Grande Valley.

Each year the federal government awards more than $80 billion in financial aid for higher education. Of the estimated 14 million applicants last year, more than 10 million received some type of federal grant or loan.

“College Goal Sunday is dedicated to assisting students who still have not filled out the FAFSA,” said Petra Lopez-Vaquera, director of the Valley Outreach Center and coordinator for the UTPA-hosted College Goal Sunday event. “We will assist the student and parent one on one and will also have an area to attend to small children and keep them busy while their parents and older siblings participate in the event. In addition, those who attend will be able to register to win one of three $100 UTPA scholarships and an I-pod.”

Organizers recommend that students bring all 2008 tax information for themselves as well as their parents including W-2s, tax return and other pertinent tax-related materials.

Students are encouraged to register for the event online prior to attending. To register or to get additional information, visit the South Texas Border P-16 Network Web site at http://p16.schoolwires.net/egsoverview or www.CollegeGoalSundayUSA.org.

Interested persons can also contact Lopez-Vaquera at 956/292-7597 or e-mail lopezvaqp@utpa.edu or Jaime Garza, Upper Rio Grande Valley P-16 Council coordinator, at 956/292-7493 or e-mail j_garza@utpa.edu.