'FAFSA Frenzy' planned to help college students with financial aid

'FAFSA Frenzy' planned to help college students with financial aid

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Three Rivers College will host a "FAFSA Frenzy" event for potential college students, from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, February 28, to provide assistance in filling out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms.

The event, co-sponsored by the Missouri Department of Higher Education, is designed to help low-income and first-generation college students complete the FAFSA, the first step for all federal need-based financial aid. Attendees will receive hands-on help from the college's financial aid advisors in completing the online application, as well as information on the grants, loans, and scholarships available at the federal, state, and college levels.

"The financial aid process can be complicated and confusing, especially for first-time applicants," Karen Beers, Student Loan Management Specialist at Three Rivers, said. "This event allows us to sit down with the students and their parents, go over the forms with them, and answer any questions they might have."

Students who attend the event will be entered to win a state scholarship, provided they enroll in a Missouri post secondary program in the fall. Intent to enroll in Three Rivers classes is not required, and the school welcomes all prospective students wanting to participate in "FAFSA Frenzy," regardless of where they plan to attend college. College information will be available to those considering attending Three Rivers.

Missouri students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as early as possible. April 1 is the priority deadline for both state and federal financial aid.  Students and families do not need to have filed their federal income taxes for 2015 in order to participate in a "FAFSA Frenzy" event or to complete the FAFSA.

Participants should bring their 2015 W-2 forms, as well as copies of their 2015 tax forms if ready. If students or their parents have not yet filed 2015 returns, they should bring any statements of interest earned in 2015, any 1099 forms, and any other forms required to complete taxes. This will allow completion of the FAFSA during the event, with corrections to be filed after tax returns are complete. Students should also obtain a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) online at studentaid.ed.gov before attending.

"FAFSA Frenzy" is part of the College Goal Sunday program, a 37-state volunteer initiative that seeks to provide information and assistance to families seeking financial aid for post secondary studies. Three Rivers recommends that prospective students apply now for fall financial aid, even if they are uncertain about whether they will attend. FAFSA applicants who decide not to enroll are not penalized, and completing the FAFSA will provide information on how much financial aid will be available.

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