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What is FAFSA Day Massachusetts?

FAFSA Day Massachusetts, a College Goal Sunday Program, is a non-profit, volunteer-driven program providing free assistance to students and families seeking to complete the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.


What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is the federally required form for ALL students seeking federal financial aid for higher education. Students attending college during the 2017-2018 academic year, must complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA, available after October 1, 2016, at www.fafsa.gov, if they are interested in receiving federal and state financial aid.


What is financial aid?

Financial aid consists of grants, scholarships, loans and Federal Work-Study.

Grants and scholarships are free money that does not need to be repaid. Loans are money borrowed by the student to help cover education expenses and they need to be repaid - often with interest.

Student loans awarded to FAFSA applicants typically have lower interest rates, better repayment terms and more favorable borrower options than private student or parent loans.

Federal Work-Study is a federally subsidized program that provides opportunities for employment in order to help with educational expenses. Federal Work-Study is not deducted from the bill and students are required to find their own employment.


When is FAFSA Day Massachusetts?

The primary FAFSA Day Massachusetts events will take place on November 6, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. and January 29, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. (with alternative dates) at over 30 locations around Massachusetts. Some sites will hold their events on other dates and times. Please check our Locations periodically for the latest site specific information.


Who should participate in FAFSA Day Massachusetts?

Students, families, and adult learners who want help applying for financial aid for the 2017-2018 academic year should attend a FAFSA Day Massachusetts site.


What do I need to bring?

Students and parents should EACH bring the following. Students born before January 1, 1994 do not need to bring parental information.

  • FSA ID (please sign up and bring both your Student FSA ID and Parent FSA ID, available at fsaid.ed.gov)
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver's License number
  • 2015 Federal Tax Return
  • 2015 W-2 or year-end pay stub
  • 2015 untaxed income records
  • 2015 business and investment records
  • Bank statement(s)
  • Alien Registration Card (if not a U.S. Citizen)


Do students need to register?

Yes! In order to provide the best possible services to attendees, students are strongly encouraged, but are not required, to register by clicking the Register Now link on all fafsaday.org pages.


What if I am not sure whether or not I am going to college?

Many students are not sure if they will be attending right after high school or have been out of high school for some time. By filling out the FAFSA, there is no obligation to attend, nor decide, which college you plan on attending. However, by completing the FAFSA early deadlines will not be missed if you decide later this year to apply to college.


What if I cannot attend FAFSA Day Massachusetts or would like more assistance?

Students and families who need additional assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or who are looking for more resources on financial aid should visit their local Educational Opportunity Center (EOC). The EOC is funded by the TRIO Office of the U.S. Department of Education and offers FREE career and educational counseling/advising services for eligible people over the age of 19 who are considering postsecondary educational options. Locations exist in Boston, Lynn, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Greater Springfield and Worcester through a project of the Massachusetts Education & Career Opportunities, Inc. (MassEdCO); in Brockton through a project of ASA ; and in Leominster through a project of Mount Wachusett Community College.


Who Supports FAFSA Day Massachusetts?

FAFSA Day Massachusetts a College Goal Sunday program is supported and administered by a volunteer committee comprised of members of the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA), as well as members of various community organizations that work with underserved populations. Funding for the FAFSA Day Massachusetts program comes in part from our various partners: American Student Assistance (ASA), Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA), and the Office of Student Financial Assistance / Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (OSFA).


Who can I contact with questions?

Anyone interested in learning more about FAFSA Day Massachusetts may email us at massinfo@fafsaday.org or call 877-424-7627.


Program Background

In 1989, the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA) and the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI) started the program now known as "College Goal Sunday." The financial aid community in Indiana recognized that information and direct assistance with completing the financial aid forms were key factors in helping children from minority, low income, and first generation families go to college.

Despite the fact that there were millions of dollars of financial aid available to many of these families, the stigma that higher education was too expensive was a huge barrier to large numbers of students who never even applied.

Funding from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. (and later the Lumina Foundation), made it possible to create this program that relied heavily on the expertise of financial aid administrators across the state. They chose a Sunday during February, Financial Aid Awareness Month, and named it "College Goal Sunday." On this day, financial aid volunteers helped families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in various locations throughout the state.

The promotion of the College Goal Sunday event was instrumental in not only encouraging attendance at the multiple sites across the state, but also publicizing awareness. The information campaign is designed to reach low-income Indiana residents. The campaign uses news media, direct mail and celebrity appearances to inform the public about the importance of higher education, the availability of funds to assist in paying for this education and the existence of College Goal Sunday to help get the ball rolling by helping them complete the FAFSA.

College Goal Sunday works! Over the past 15 years, 16,800 Massachusetts residents have been assisted. In the first year, there were 10 sites statewide, and by 2016 there were 33 sites across 31 Massachusetts cities and towns. 373 individual volunteers offered their time and talent. Exit surveys prove that it helps the targeted population complete a vital and often difficult task, that volunteer support continues to be vibrant and committed, and the more Massachusetts communities want to initiate their own sites.