BOSTON (CBS) – I have been thinking about college planning this week! Because….

Next Sunday, the 26th, 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. Many will be next Sunday. They are also providing some alternative dates, starting with this Wednesday and then they repeat the program on February 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.

Download the (FAFSA) form and review it. They want financial information from the parents such as your income, assets and savings. A stepparent’s information is required as well.

The sooner you get this form in the better your chances are for getting financial aid. This is serious stuff, 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 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 it’s 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. Check our website for more information.

What to Bring:

  • 2013 Federal Tax Return if it’s done, if not bring your 2012 tax return
  • Social Security numbers
  • Driver’s license
  • 2013 W-2 Forms or year-end pay stubs and other year-end
    records of money received such as 1099s
  • Current bank and investment statements
  • 2013 business and investment information
  • Your alien registration card if you are not a U.S. citizen

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