Posted: February 1, 2006

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

College Goal Sunday offers free assistance and a chance to win a $500 scholarship

High school students and their parents can get help applying for financial aid to college on Sunday, Feb. 12 at five Minnesota State Colleges and Universities as part of College Goal Sunday, a nationwide effort to assist families. By attending, students will have a chance to win a $500 scholarship.

The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12, at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Fond du Lac Community and Tribal College in Cloquet, Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Volunteers and educational professionals will provide free step-by-step assistance in filling out federal financial aid forms. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is an essential first step to obtaining financial aid for higher education.

"By completing this application, students and their parents can find out how much they can receive in state and federal grants, Work Study programs, child care assistance, scholarships, low-interest loans and other forms of assistance," said Raul Ramos, community outreach and recruitment specialist for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. "I urge anyone interested in enrolling in college and who may need financial assistance for college to attend this event. We also encourage parents and guardians to accompany their young people."

To complete the application at the event, students and their parents should bring their correct Social Security numbers; a driver's license, if they have one; 2005 federal tax returns or the 2004 federal tax returns if the 2005 return is not complete; 2005 untaxed income records - Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare or veterans benefits records; 2005 bank statements; 2005 business and investment mortgage information; business and farm records; and stock, bond, and other investment records and an alien registration card if they are not U.S. citizens.

"Even if you are unable to bring all the requested information, attending this event will still be valuable," said Ramos said. "You don't want to miss out on the important instruction provided at College Goal Sunday."

About 40 percent of the students who attend Minnesota State Colleges and Universities are first-generation college students - that is, neither parent has attended college. In 2005, about 72,000 Minnesota college students received a state or federal grant. About 20,000 of these students had family incomes of $40,000 or more.

In Minnesota, College Goal Sunday is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Minnesota Association of Financial Aid Administrators with a grant from the Lumina Foundation.