January 01, 2016

FAME FAFSA Help Events

FAME to Host 22 Statewide Free In-Person Events to Help Students Heading to College Complete the FAFSA

Events Give Maine Families Access to Experienced Financial Aid Experts and Support in Completing the Form FAME announced today that help is available to Maine students and families seeking financial aid for higher education. Throughout the state for two weeks in January, FAME plans to hold 22 In-Person FAFSA Help Sessions where experienced financial aid experts will be on hand to help families complete the application on the spot. A complete listing of dates and locations is available at FAMEmaine.com. The FAFSA is the federal application that all schools use to determine student eligibility for federal financial aid. The form for the 2016-2017 school year becomes available on January 1, 2016, and can be found at FAFSA.gov. According to FAME, only about 62% of Maine high school seniors completed the FAFSA by May 1 of last year. “As a result, many students left significant grant money on the table, while others missed out on financial aid completely,” said Martha Johnston, Director of Education at FAME. “We want to get the word out that every family sending a child off to college, trade, or technical school should complete the FAFSA, and we’re here to help them. Significant financial aid does exist and the earlier families apply the more aid they may be able to receive.” Johnston noted that families attending the sessions should bring the following information to the help sessions: • FSA ID – this user name and password is needed to access all Federal Student Aid websites, including the FAFSA. We recommend the student and one parent create it ahead of time at fsaid.ed.gov. • Social Security numbers (SSN) for student and parents • Information to estimate student and parents 2015 income – such as W-2 forms or last year’s Federal Income Tax Returns – and other records of money earned • Current bank statements for student and parents This marks the 12th year FAME has made these In-Person FAFSA Help Sessions available to Mainers. Over the years FAME has assisted more than 7,500 families through these events. Johnston also says that FAME hopes to help reduce Maine residents’ student loan debt. She adds that completing the FAFSA as early as possible, is one of the best ways to minimize student loan borrowing. Many students fail to complete the FAFSA, or submit it after critical deadlines. For example, some colleges have financial aid deadlines in February and March, and the FAFSA is used by FAME to award the Maine State Grant for all applicants who apply by May 1st. These students miss out on potential grants and end up borrowing more than they would have needed to. If families are not able to attend the in-person help sessions, FAME also offers online support. Families can also call FAME at 1-800-228-3734 with questions.