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College financial aid help offered in statewide program to be held Oct. 28

RALEIGHFAFSA Day is a statewide program to help college students with filling out financial aid forms. It will be held at sites across North Carolina from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 28.

Financial aid administrators and specialists will provide the help.

FAFSA Day is organized by College Foundation of North Carolina, the N.C. Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the State Employees’ Credit Union.

Completing the free application for federal student aid is the first step for many students toward getting financial aid for college or career school. Many states and colleges use the application to determine students’ eligibility for state and school aid.

Through FAFSA, students can gain access to a share of more than $120 billion in loans, grants and work-study funds. However, a student must complete and submit a FAFSA form to qualify for any of the money.

“The process of applying for financial aid can be overwhelming, but FAFSA Day is a great opportunity for students to get the help they need to succeed,” says Mary Lindsaye Boyd of CFNC. “Parents are also encouraged to attend the event and support their student through the process. We would love for all students who are looking to attend college next fall to visit CFNC.org/FAFSADay to find the campus nearest them and join us for this event.”

Students should come prepared for FAFSA Day with the following:

  • Each student and one of his parents need a Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID), which can be obtained at FSAID.ed.gov. FSA IDs can be obtained in advance. The student and parent need the FSA IDs to submit financial aid application.
  • Students and parents should bring their 2016 tax information. Most participants are able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to get the necessary tax information, but if those tax forms are unavailable, having a 2016 1040 tax form or a W-2 will be helpful.
  • A parent and the student will need to sign the completed FAFSA form before submitting it.

The CFNC Call Center is hosting FAFSA Tuesdays each Tuesday in October to encourage students and parents to call with questions about FAFSA completion. For more help planning, applying and paying for college, students can contact the CFNC Call Center at 800-866-2362 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

In addition, students can receive help completing the FAFSA form from the State Employees’ Credit Union during the month of November. Schedule an appointment by calling your local SECU branch.

Once the FAFSA is completed, students and parents are encouraged to go through the Residency Determination Service, which is new this year, at ncresidency.org.  RDS requires much of the same information as the FAFSA and is an important component to financial aid because it determines eligibility for in-state tuition and state grants.

Pre-registration for FAFSA Day is encouraged; visit CFNC.org/FAFSADay or call 866-866-2362 toll-free to find a location near you and register. Times and dates may differ among locations.

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