Massachusetts FAFSA DAY Sunday, January 27, 2013 @ 1:00 p.m.
In recent years, the cost of education and need for financial aid has increased significantly. Total student loan debt now exceeds $1 trillion, representing more than all credit-card debt combined, and is causing many students and families to struggle financially for years.
As part of the AGO's continuing consumer education efforts, the Office has created an outreach program, Eliminate D.E.B.T (Eliminate Deceptive Education Business Tactics), to help students better understand the costs and choices associated with pursuing a post-secondary education.
It’s important to plan carefully and invest wisely in your educational pursuits to be able to obtain the training you need to be successful in your chosen career field without leaving you in insurmountable debt. Fortunately, there are some essential programs and resources available to assist you in this process.
FAFSA Day Massachusetts is a statewide program that provides free on-site professional guidance and one-on-one assistance to students and families seeking to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to attend college or post-secondary vocational school. The services offered are free and available to students, families and adult-learners entering or continuing study in 2013-2014. Low-income, first-generation students and anyone seeking additional help completing the FAFSA form are especially encouraged to attend.
FAFSA is the required form for all students seeking federal financial, state and institutional aid for higher education. The 2013-2014 FAFSA form is available at www.fafsa.gov. Financial aid consists of grants, scholarships, loans and Federal Work-Study. While 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 must 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.
FAFSA Day Massachusetts is being held at 25 locations throughout the state this Sunday, January 27, at 1:00pm, with six additional locations offering assistance on alternative dates and times. Several sites will offer a general presentation about the FAFSA and financial aid resources beginning at 1:00pm. Financial aid counselors will then guide participants through the process of completing and filing a FAFSA online. Most locations will have computer accessibility so that you can complete your FAFSA on site. Many locations will offer assistance in multiple languages. Students and families are encouraged to visit www.FAFSADAY.org to register in advance, view location sites and directions, and obtain more information such as what items to bring in order to complete the FASFA form.
FAFSA Day Massachusetts, which is part of the national College Goal Sunday Program, is a non-profit, volunteer-driven program sponsored by Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA), Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), American Student Assistance and USA Funds. The program, now in its ninth year, has assisted over 10,000 students to date. This is a great opportunity to talk to financial aid and higher education professionals about financial aid resources and how to budget appropriately for college and other post-secondary training programs.
Don’t delay in completing your FAFSA! On average, it takes only 23 minutes to complete the FAFSA form, which in turn may save you lots of time and money in the future from having to pay off unnecessary debt you could’ve avoided by completing the FAFSA. Also, be sure to check with each school you’re applying to since schools have varying FAFSA deadlines in accordance with their institutional aid deadlines. It pays to be on time!
For more information about the AGO’s efforts to assist consumers in understanding the costs associated with higher education, visit www.mass.gov/ago/schools. You can also request an educational training at no-cost to your organization by contacting AGOEliminateDEBT@state.ma.us.