I’ve been filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for eight or nine years now, but I remember the first one.

There I was sitting at a computer at home. All by myself. Do I have everything? Can I navigate the system? Is this the right browser? Boy, I better not forget that PIN. Write down that password, too.

You get the idea. The first time around, it can be stressful.

Well, there’s a way to relieve the stress. It’s called College Goal Sunday – 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12.

College Goal Sunday Comes to College Campuses near You.

College Goal Sunday is coming to a college campus near you. Because this is a Front Range blog, I’ll tell you that the Larimer Campus in Fort Collins and the Boulder County Campus in Longmont are College Goal Sunday sites. But you can find sites from Durango to Sterling, Craig to La Junta.

FAFSA is Your Starting Point for Financial Aid for College.

Why is the FAFSA so important? It’s the starting point for all college financial aid. All of it – grants, scholarships, work study, and student loans. No FAFSA, no financial aid. No FAFSA, and paying for college is all on you.

At College Goal Sunday, financial aid experts – yes, experts – will help you fill out the FAFSA.

Make Tax Time FAFSA Time.

And February is the best time to file the FAFSA. You’ve got your income records from 2011. You’ve started your tax returns – you have started, haven’t you? Sure, you’ve got to April 15, but that’s the IRS deadline. Many colleges have an earlier deadline for financial aid, so at the latest file the FAFSA by March 1. College Goal Sunday comes at the right time to keep you on schedule with college financial aid offices. And if your tax return isn’t done, that’s still OK. You can make estimates on the FAFSA.

Spanish translation will be available to families, and more than $20,000 in scholarships will be given away during the day.

What to Bring to College Goal Sunday.

To complete the FAFSA at College Goal Sunday, the student and parents/guardians will need their 2011 federal tax records. And you will need to refer to these records, too:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Driver’s licenses (if any)
  • 2011 W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
  • 2011 untaxed income records – Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans benefits records
  • 2011 bank statements
  • 2011 business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records
  • Alien registration cards (if you are not U.S. citizens)
  • If possible, before you come to College Goal Sunday, register for a Personal Identification Number. This will allow you to sign your FAFSA electronically for faster processing.

That’s it. Take the stress out of the FAFSA. Get the help you need at College Goal Sunday.

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