The University of North Georgia (UNG) will hold a free event to help college-bound students and their parents complete forms required to apply for federal financial aid on March 5 at 5:30 p.m. on UNG's Cumming Campus. This event was rescheduled for March 5 due to winter storms that resulted in the closure of area high schools on the original date of Feb. 19.
Financial aid experts will be available to help families complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at the event. Completing the FAFSA is the first step in applying for federal and state grants, loans, and scholarships to help pay for college. The federal government requires a FAFSA from all students seeking financial aid to attend and pay for college.
From academic years 2006–07 to 2011–12, the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students at 4-year degree-granting institutions receiving any financial aid increased from 75 to 85 percent, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.
At UNG, 84 percent all current students receive some type of financial aid, including loans, and many receive multiple types of financial aid. Despite that high percentage, U.S. News & World Report ranked UNG the best public regional university in the South for the least amount of debt load for the class of 2013, with 51 percent of students who borrowed money for school graduating debt-free.
College Goal Georgia, part of the national College Goal Sunday initiative, is sponsored by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC). It is a free event where volunteers help students and families who need assistance in completing the financial aid forms, with a particular focus on helping low-income families and families with first-generation college students.
"GSFC and College Goal Georgia want to ensure finances and completing the FAFSA are not barriers to attending college for anyone, especially students from under-represented communities," said Angie Newell, College Goal Georgia's statewide coordinator.
GSFC helps students achieve their educational goals by administering financial aid programs and advocating for Georgia students and other state institutions on issues related to financing higher education. GSFC administers the HOPE Scholarship and Grant programs as well as other state-and lottery-funded scholarship, grant and service-cancelable loan programs.
Each year, financial aid professionals at UNG's College Goal Georgia event help hundreds of students apply for financial aid. This year, participants will be automatically entered in drawings to win an iPad mini or one of many other prizes.
To see a complete list of the documents that students and families should bring to the event, please visit http://collegegoalsundayga.com/?page_id=8. UNG's Cumming Campus is located at 300 Aquatic Circle, Cumming, Georgia, 30040. The event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The College Goal Sunday program was created by the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association with funding from Lilly Endowment, Inc., and with supplemental support from Lumina Foundation for Education. Currently, College Goal Sunday events are being held in 40 states and the District of Columbia, and are funded in part by USA Funds.