Categorized | Education & Safety

MCHS host FAFSA Day for all Mid-South parents and students

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

MCHS Career Counselor Constance Certion is one of the organizers of the FAFSA event scheduled for this Saturday to help parents and student fill out the forms to obtain finanical aid for college.

MCHS Career Counselor Constance Certion is one of the organizers of the FAFSA event scheduled for this Saturday to help parents and student fill out the forms to obtain finanical aid for college.

Constance Certion and the guidance counsel staff of Millington Central High School is extending an invitation to all in the area.

On Jan. 19, MCHS will host College Goal Saturday, a free financial aid event for parents and seniors. College Goal Saturday will take place from 9 a.m. to noon.

Certion and colleagues will provide seniors and their parents with an opportunity to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid with the assistance of trained and knowledgeable financial aid professionals from local colleges, universities, and technology/trade schools.

“Completing the FAFSA is such a big part of the whole college application process,” Certion said. “We know the cost of college is not going down. It’s actually increasing. We need to help families and students find as many opportunities to get money as often as they can. One of the keys of getting that money is appling early.

“A lot of people choose to wait until after they filed their taxes,” she continued. “We drag our feet sometimes on filing our taxes. You really can’t afford to do that if you have a child trying to go to college. The reason for that is state grant money. That’s what is really driving the boat here.”

Certion, a career counselor for MCHS, noted a lot of students will be eligible for state grant money because they receive reduced or free lunch. That money will be in addition to any federal money received.

“Right now federal pell grant is running about $5,550,” Certion noted. “You add state grant on top of that, $2,500 for a student. You have to apply as soon as possible because the funds are depleted fast.”

The suggested deadline from the MCHS staff is Jan. 31. The professionals that will be on site will help any parents who haven’t received their W-2 forms from their employer to estimate to fill out the FAFSA.

“We’re helping you apply early enough to where the state money shouldn’t be depleted,” Certion said. “And we’re helping you do it so hopefully there won’t be any errors. There shouldn’t be any errors as long as they bring in the documents that are listed there. We should have an error-free FAFSA submitted on Jan. 19.”

Certion said students should attend to see the process they will have to undergo annually while in college. She also warns students to be aware of where they apply for the FAFSA.

“The key word is free,” she noted. “Free is free is free, you shouldn’t have to pay.”

In the past students have logged onto the wrong website and paid to fill out their FAFSA forms. The correct site is www.fafsa.gov.

Another bonus of attending Saturday’s event will be making your student eligible for the Hope Scholarship in addition to a 3.0 grade point average and score of 21 or higher of the ACT.

“You can be eligible for Hope all day long,” Certion said. “But if you don’t complete the FAFSA, you won’t see that money. That’s another reason to make sure you file.”

The event will begin in Room 300 with a brief talk about the FAFSA followed by a Q & A session. Then the parents will move to the computer lab in Room 400 where they can begin working on the application. Financial aid counselors will be present to provide assistance with completing the application and answer questions.

“It’s open to the public,” Certion concluded. “We found Saturdays work better for our students and parents. It’s normally fast. We have computer labs, one with 35 computers in it. The one beside it has additional ones. Most people can get in and out and feel like they accomplished something on a Saturday morning.”

You will need records of income earned in the year prior to when you will start school. You will also need records of your parent’s income information if you are a dependent student.

For the 2013-2014 school year, you will need financial information from 2012. You will need to refer to:

* Your Social Security Number

* Your driver’s license

* Your 2012 W-2 Forms and other records of money earned

* Your (and your spouse’s, if you are married) 2012 Federal Income Tax Return.

* Your Parents’ 2012 Federal Income Tax Return (if you are a dependent student)

* Your 2012 untaxed income records

* Veterans’ non-education benefit records

* Child support received

* Worker’s compensation

* Your current bank statements

* Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond and other investment records

* Your alien registration or permanent resident card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

 

To organize your information, print and complete a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet before you begin entering your information online. This form is available at www.fafsa.gov.

*Please note that you can estimate your income based on last year’s tax return if you have not yet received your W-2 or filed your 2012 tax return. Estimating will allow you to complete the FAFSA sooner and increase your chances of getting any available grant money before the state funds are depleted. For more information, call 873-8100 ext. 250.

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