JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - On Feb. 10, from 2-4 p.m., students and parents can meet one on one with financial aid advisors at the free College Goal Sunday event to receive help filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the first step required in applying for federal financial aid and state programs such as the Access Missouri financial assistance program. All post-secondary schools accept the FAFSA.

The statewide event will be available at two Jefferson City area locations - the Missouri Department of Higher Education at 3515 Amazonas Dr. and Lincoln University at 820 Chestnut St.

In addition, more than $15,000 in scholarships will be given to students attending the event statewide. An attendee at each of the 30 College Goal Sunday locations, including the two in Jefferson City, will receive a $500 scholarship. Recipients can use the money for the 2008 academic year at any college or trade school, provided they are a first semester freshman in the fall of 2008.

"As the cost of higher education continues to grow, more and more families need to explore financial aid to help fill the gap. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the document to qualify for federal, state, and in some cases, institutional funding," said Mindy Beckley-Hager, College Goal Sunday Missouri chairperson. "The goal of College Goal Sunday is to help provide free, accurate information from financial aid professionals from Missouri colleges and universities to help guide families through the important document."

Families who bring their completed 2007 income tax returns to College Goal Sunday will be able to complete the FAFSA on site. Families who haven't yet completed their tax returns will still learn valuable information to help them finish the FAFSA at home. For quicker filing, please obtain your PIN in advance by visiting www.pin.ed.gov.

Last year, College Goal Sunday helped more than 1,650 Missouri students obtain financial aid. Volunteers and financial professionals will staff the fifth annual event.

Every year, the U.S. Department of Education makes more than $67 billion in postsecondary financial aid available to students throughout the nation. College Goal Sunday makes applying for financial aid easier. For locations or other information about College Goal Sunday, visit www.collegegoalmissouri.org or call Mindy Beckley-Hager, chairperson, at 913-681-1791.