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College Goal Georgia events at UNG through early March

College Goal GA 2016
Financial aid experts will be on hand during the UNG-hosted College Goal Georgia events to help prospective students and their families better understand the FAFSA and other details in the federal loan process.

University of North Georgia (UNG) campuses will hold free events over the next few months to help college-bound students and their parents fill out Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms, and to help students adjust to two significant changes to FAFSA this year.

The College Goal Georgia (CGG) FAFSA Completion initiative is sponsored by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. CGG offers these events so volunteers may 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.

The CGG events on UNG campuses will be held from 4-7 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Dec. 6, Oconee Campus, room 313
  • Jan. 20, Gainesville Campus, ACTT Center
  • Feb. 23, Cumming Campus, rooms 208 and 234
  • March 7, Blue Ridge Campus, room 103

UNG's Dahlonega Campus also hosted an event on Nov. 14.

Financial aid experts will be available to help families complete and submit the forms at the events. Completing the FAFSA is the first step in applying for federal and state grants, loans and scholarships to help pay for college.

"This event is about breaking the barriers that prospective students often see when considering higher education, most notably how they will pay for their education and the documentation that goes along with financial assistance," said Jill Rayner, director for Financial Aid. "Our goal is for them to leave these events confident in their futures as college students and graduates."

One change to FAFSA is that, effective as of Oct. 1, students have been able to file a 2017–18 FAFSA rather than waiting until Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date is a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as Oct. 1 every year.

Also, beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students are required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students — and parents, as appropriate — must report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.

Because the procedure can sometimes appear daunting to students considering college, anyone interested is asked to attend a CGG event so that experts can help answer questions and assist with the filing process.

"Research has shown that by 2025, 61 percent of all jobs in Georgia will require some type of postsecondary credential," said Sheila Caldwell, director for UNG's Complete College Georgia initiative. "We know when a student completes the FAFSA, they are more likely to enroll in college and earn a college degree. By helping them through this process in our College Goal Georgia events, we take that one step further by helping to ensure students' financial stability, which gives them greater freedom to concentrate on education and leadership."

To see a complete list of the documents that students and families should bring to the events, please visit http://collegegoalga.com/about/what-to-bring.  

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