Published Jan. 29, 2013
By Jane Sander, KNDU TV
High school students and their parents making the plunge into college applications, attended a program Sunday a Columbia Basin College in Pasco aimed at making the process a little easier.
Figuring out financial aid can be confusing for college applicants but College Goal Sunday helps families understand it.
With nearly 70 informational sessions in Washington state this year, there are plenty of opportunities out there to help students get the help they need.
Education funding cuts and increasing tuition rates have many families wondering how they're going to pay for college.
The College Goal Sunday program is holding events across the state to explain how to get the assistance students need.
High schoolers and their parents filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form with college scholarship counselors Sunday to make sure they get as much aid as possible.
"It's better than just throwing you out to the sharks. They have someone, a little life saver to come help you. I think it really helps clear up a lot of questions that came up during the whole application process. We started it on our own and coming here and seeing what we did wrong, it helps," said Katie Chaney, a high school student applying for financial aid.
"The FAFSA is sometimes scary application to fill out. So when you have that support it's really made it useful and beneficial to have those resources for families," said Teresa Santoy, College Bound Scholarship Counselor.
Santoy said students should take advantage of the numerous scholarship and aid opportunities available.
She said when families learn about the many outlets for financial help, it can change a young person's future.
"Seeing the amount of assistance they may be eligible for or hear about the various scholarship opportunities, scholarship search engines like thewashboard.org, it changes their mind. It sparks their eyes and really allows them to see and be able to pursue the dreams that they may not have pursued otherwise," said Santoy.
Santoy recommends filing the FAFSA by February 1st.
Here are some websites that can fill you in on financial aid and scholarships: collegegoalsundaywa.org, thewashboard.org, and collegesuccessfoundation.org.
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