Southern helps local students with FAFSA

John Carr

“Just Get Here” was the slogan advertised across Missouri to encourage high school seniors to participate in College Goal Sunday.

Missouri Southern was one of 27 sites selected in Missouri for College Goal Sunday on Feb. 12. Linda Sadler, student employment coordinator, coordinated the event for high school students to learn how to file their FAFSA online and gain needed information about scholarships, grants and student employment.

“College Goal Sunday is a national event,” Sadler said. “MSSU was one of 27 sites in Missouri hosting hands-on assistance for parents and students in completing the FAFSA and entering it online.”

“A 20-minute presentation was given in Matthews Hall auditorium covering the various forms of financial aid and the various sections of the FAFSA,” she said.

“It is important for the FAFSA to be filled out completely and correctly so the student’s processing of aid is not slowed by having to do corrections. The information sent to FAFSA is immediately sent to the student’s resident state.”

She said timeliness is important in financial aid.

“Many state grants and scholarships are limited and given on a first-come basis,” Sadler said. “Students miss out on these grants simply because they did not file their FAFSA by March 1.”

Students learned how to apply for a Personal ID Number online, making filing the FAFSA easier and quicker.

“Every student and parent attending applied for a PIN, then entered what information they could into the FAFSA Web site,” Sadler said.

“If they did not have complete tax information, otherwise the FAFSA was submitted online immediately.

“Those who did not have complete information saved their work and will go back to complete it when their taxes are complete.”

Students came from local high schools including Aurora, Carthage, Diamond, Galena, Lamar, Miami, Neosho and Webb City.

“The attendance was a total of 50 attendees,” Sadler said. “However, those who attended were very appreciative of the assistance they received.

“They also expressed surprise more people did not attend.”

Volunteers from Crowder College, Northeast Oklahoma A&M and Southern constituted the financial aid staff.

“The event was held as a collective effort nationwide to help all college students regardless of where they are planning to attend get a head start on submitting their financial aid information, to be in-line for the limited state scholarships and to have their financial aid processed in a timely manner so families can plan their budgets and college costs for the 2006-2007 school year,” Sadler said.