TRENTON – New Jersey students who plan to continue their education should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It’s the only way to apply for state, federal and/or institutional financial aid.
Students and families who need help to complete the application should take advantage of free assistance offered at College Goal Sunday – FAFSA Day, an annual event which has served hundreds of students in the past five years. The program is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), the state agency dedicated to helping students with information and financial resources for college, university or vocational school.
“Data shows that 90 percent of students who submit a completed FAFSA enroll in postsecondary education,” said HESAA Executive Director Gabrielle Charette. “Filing a FAFSA is also the only way to qualify for New Jersey’s Tuition Aid Grant, one of the most generous need-based aid programs in the U.S.”
College Goal Sunday – FAFSA Day will be held between 1 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24 at the following locations: Camden County College, Camden; Kean University, Union; New Jersey City University, Jersey City; New Brunswick High School, New Brunswick; Ocean County College, Toms River; Passaic County Community College, Paterson; Mercer County Community College, Trenton; Cumberland County College, Vineland; and Centenary College, Hackettstown.
HESAA co-sponsors the event with the New Jersey Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NJASFAA), which represents about 100 higher education institutions and organizations. NJASFAA President Karen Sokol said students should file a FAFSA regardless of whether they have been accepted to their school of choice. “We invite all potential students in New Jersey to take advantage of College Goal Sunday – FAFSA Day, so they can complete and submit the application correctly, well in advance of the deadline,” she said.
The event helps first-generation and low-income students, along with veterans, the unemployed or those in need of retraining, and individuals who receive social services. All students, however, are welcome. Each session includes a 30-minute presentation in English and Spanish, followed by one-on-one assistance to complete and submit the FAFSA. The sessions are staffed by financial aid experts from HESAA and educational institutions across New Jersey. Students who complete the FAFSA can enter a raffle for a $500 scholarship awarded at each session.
Visit www.njcollegegoalsunday.org for specific locations, and to see a checklist of documents needed to complete the FAFSA. Advance registration is suggested but walk-ins are welcome. The snow date for all locations is Sunday, March 3.
College Goal Sunday – FAFSA Day is made possible in part through a grant from USA Funds.