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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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College Goal Sunday this week at Doņa Ana Community College

LAS CRUCES - Doņa Ana Community College will be one of 17 locations in New Mexico to participate in College Goal Sunday, a National College Access initiative, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb.24, on the main campus.

College Goal Sunday is a free event for college-bound students and their families where the students can connect with financial assistance for school. Colleges, universities and high schools across New Mexico are joining 37 other states in brining the experts to the communities where the students live.

"At College Goal Sunday, we bring our high school students together with tools they need to apply for much-needed money for college," said Cathy Salcido, New Mexico State University's financial aid outreach coordinator who is coordinating New Mexico's event.

During College Goal Sunday financial aid experts and community volunteers will help students and their families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). With FAFSA, students have access to billions in federal and state funds available for college.

"This one-day event will help low-income and minority families of college-bound students take the first step in applying for college by going through a two-hour moderated session that will lead to a completed financial aid form for the student," Salcido said.

"If available, the students and their parents should bring their completed 2007 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 statements and other 2007 income and benefits information," she said.

Salcido advised that additional information that may be helpful, but not required, includes current bank statements, untaxed income records for the previous year such as Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare or veterans benefits records, driver's license, and alien registration card if they are not a U.S. citizen.

"Students and their parents should bring their FAFSA pin number with them. If they do not already have one, they should obtain one at the College Goal Sunday website: www.collegegoalnm.com. More information regarding the event may also be obtained at this website," she said

College Goal Sunday is supported and administered by a volunteer committee comprised of members of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators as well as members of various organizations and volunteers that are knowledgeable in financial aid. Partners supporting the event include Bank of America, College Success Network, New Mexico Student Loans and Wells Fargo Bank.

Funding for this program comes from Lumina Foundation for Education, and Indianapolis based, private, independent foundation that strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding access and success in education beyond high school. Through research grants for innovative programs and communication initiatives, Lumina Foundation addresses issues surrounding financial access and educational retention and degree of certificate attainment - particularly among underserved student groups, including adult learners. The foundation bases its mission on the belief that postsecondary education remains one of the most beneficial investments individuals and society can make.