PHEAA Offers Free Help in Completing the FAFSA®

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Families can receive individual guidance from financial aid experts

Harrisburg, PA (January 10, 2011)—The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is offering free FAFSA® Completion Sessions across the Commonwealth from January through April for families with students planning to attend college and interested in qualifying for student financial assistance during the 2011-12 academic year.

"Completing the FAFSA can open doors to valuable financial aid programs that can help families pay for their higher education," advised PHEAA Board Chairman William F. Adolph. "With many families struggling in these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever for them to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses as much as possible for their student's higher education."

PHEAA offers the FAFSA Sessions in partnership with the Pennsylvania Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (PASFAA). A schedule of upcoming FAFSA Completion Sessions is available at PHEAA.org/FAFSA and will be updated weekly as additional locations are confirmed.

PHEAA's Higher Education Access Partners and PASFAA's Financial Aid Administrators will conduct the sessions to offer guidance in completing the FAFSA. Families and college-bound students will have the opportunity to ask questions related to the FAFSA or financial aid in general pertaining to their individual circumstances.

If the FAFSA Completion Event site has access to online computers, presenters can help individual families complete the FAFSA online while they attend the session. If students are filing as a dependent, they and their parents will need the following documents.

  • Social Security numbers
  • Drivers license numbers
  • 2010 W-2 forms and 2010 Federal Income Tax returns
  • Alien registration numbers or permanent residence cards (if not U.S. citizens)
  • 2010 untaxed income records (welfare, veterans benefits, Social Security, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  • Current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds and other investments
  • Business or farm records, if applicable

Independent students should only use their personal documents and records.

The FAFSA is the federal form that all families need to submit to determine eligibility for almost all forms of need-based financial assistance, including the Pennsylvania State Grant, Federal Pell Grants, work-study programs, many scholarships and school-based aid, and low-cost federal student loans.

Families can view a schedule of FAFSA Sessions at PHEAA.org/FAFSA as well as access frequently asked questions, overviews, preparation worksheets, and links to the online application.

For the latest financial aid information and helpful tips, upcoming deadlines and free financial aid workshops join PHEAA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pheaa.aid.