PORTLAND — There will be an informational meeting about financial aide for college-bound high school seniors and their parents Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 6:30 p.m. in room 304 at Portland High School.
Trish Malloy of the Finance Authority of Maine will give parents an overview of information needed for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In an interview, she stressed the importance of filling out these forms, which are now available, early.
“We’re always adamant that people fill out the form, because you never know when you going to need financial assistance,” she said. “Just doing the federal financial aid application is the biggest step.”
Also, Tim Pulsoni, a PHS graduate now attending the University of Southern Maine, will talk about his experience seeking out and applying for financial assistance.
FAFSA forms can be due as early as Jan. 31, but Malloy said most are typically due by March 1. If families are unsure of the deadline for a particular college, she said, they should have their forms completed by the end of January.
FAME representatives will be fanning out across the state on Jan. 25 to help families struggling to fill out the lengthy and sometimes complicated financial aid forms. The local event, called College Goal Sunday, will take place at 2 p.m. at the University of Southern Maine’s Hannaford Lecture Hall in the Ambromson Center on Bedford Street.
With an increasing number of families struggling to make ends meet, competition for federal and state financial aid could increase. Malloy said financial aid information nights have drawn strong numbers, bringing out parents who have never before looked into financial aid.
FAME Acting Chief Executive Director Beth Bordowitz encouraged parents to take advantage of both the informational meeting on Jan. 13 and the assistance night on Jan. 25, urging parents and students not to procrastinate.
“There is no excuse not to get your FAFSA form in; that is the gateway to financial assistance,” she said. “You cannot get a federal student loan without filling in that form. If you don’t fill out that form, you lose your opportunity, if you need a loan, to get your lowest-cost alternative with the best conditions for students.”