Great Falls

Feb 19, 2014 7:44 PM by DaVonté McKenith

College Goal Montana prepares to help communities with FAFSA applications

GREAT FALLS - Financial aid professionals and volunteers will be available for College Goal Montana at Great Falls College-MSU on February 23, 2014 from 1-4 pm to help students and families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

All visits will be free and will allow for one-on-one assistance. Specialists say Great Falls and outlying communities should attend this event rather than paying for services that may hurt your wallet.

"People don't really know what FAFSA stands for, and when you tell them that it's free, then they kind of get it. People do come in and say they were charged and they didn't realize they were going to get charged," said Lee Ann Myllymaki, financial aid specialist.

Filling out the FAFSA is an important step in the process to securing federal, state and institutional aid to help pay for school. Every year, students and parents miss out on financial aid simply because they don't apply.

"About $150 billion in federal grants, loans and work-study funds is available each year, and that doesn't include the state and institutional aid that is out there," said Rhonda Safford, College Goal Montana statewide coordinator.

In order to get proper help on Sunday, you'll need these items to complete the FAFSA:

• FAFSA PIN number - to get your pin, log on to www.pin.ed.gov. (Both students and parents will need PINs if the student is under the age of 24)

• Social Security numbers (students and parents)

• 2013 federal tax returns (or 2012 tax returns if 2013 are not complete)

• W-2s, tribal income, other aid information (TANF, child support, other benefits)

• Additional asset information (money market funds, stocks, other investments)

For more information about this event, call Lee Ann Myllymaki at 406.771.4334 or visit the College Goal Montana website.

Reporter's Note: The priority FAFSA filing deadline for Montana schools is March 1, except for The University of Montana and Missoula College University of Montana which have a priority deadline of Feb. 15. Students attending schools in other states should contact their school directly regarding priority deadlines.