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Where To Get Help For College Planning

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Job Fair, College Job Fair

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420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – I have been thinking about college planning this week! Because….

Next Sunday, the 27th, is the Massachusetts College Goal Sunday. This is a program that provides free information and assistance to Massachusetts families applying for financial aid.

There are over 30 locations in Massachusetts where these workshops will be held. Most will be next Sunday and the program starts at 1 pm. They are also providing some alternative dates, starting with this Wednesday and Thursday and then on Monday the 28th. Check their website for more information.

They would like the students to pre-register so that everyone attending gets the help they need.

There will be financial aid professionals from Massachusetts colleges and universities to help families and students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is required for students seeking financial aid, including grants and loans.

I downloaded the (FAFSA) form to review it and found it fairly straight forward to fill out. If this is your first experience with the form, I would recommend you get a copy and review it before you show up on Sunday. They want financial information about the parents such as your income, assets and savings. In addition, the stepparent’s information is required.

The sooner you get this form in the better your chances are for getting financial aid. I am serious about this, get it in too late and there may not be any money left for the schools to give out. They like to send out the acceptance letter and often with it is another letter, the award letter, with your financial-aid offer.

And this year students can expect to receive a new kind of award letter—a financial aid “shopping sheet” created by the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This letter includes important information including a school’s graduation record, the loan default rate and median borrowing at that institution.

The deadline for Massachusetts is May 1, federally its June 30 and the different schools may have different deadlines. Again, get the forms in as soon as possible.

If you are going for help, next Sunday plan to be there a couple of hours and you need to bring some information with you.

What to Bring -

  • 2012 Federal Tax Return if it’s done, if not bring 2011 tax return
  • Social Security numbers
  • Driver’s license
  • 2012 W-2 Forms or year-end pay stubs and other year-end
    records of money received such as 1099s
  • Current bank and investment statements
  • 2012 business and investment information
  • Your alien registration card if you are not a U.S. citizen
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