Financial aid event helps families plan for college - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Financial aid event helps families plan for college

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Applying for financial aid can be a challenging task. That's why organizers hold the "College Goal Wisconsin" event across the state to help people navigate online forms.

One of the free sessions was held at North Central Technical College Saturday.

Tom and Tammy Kirsch of Edgar are sending their first child, Tyler, to college in the fall.

"He's a good student, gets good grades," said Tom Kirsch.

They're hoping to get some financial aid to help pay for his education.

"We have been planning since they were quite small but unfortunately, the pot has not grown as much as we would have liked it to grow," Kirsch said.

At NTC, volunteers helped people learn more about the Free Application for Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA and complete the online form.

"Financial aid includes the low interest rate student loans, grants, college work study and then scholarships based on financial need," said "College Goal Wisconsin" chair Sharon Hunter.

She added that filling out the online form correctly is crucial.

"So they can find out what their expected contribution is toward college so they can find out if college is really affordable or not," she said.

Although the form has gotten easier to navigate in recent years, organizers said many people who are filling it out for the first time have questions.

Hunter said the process requires, "very basic information about the student and parent and then income information which comes right off your tax return."

The Kirsch's told Newsline 9 the free event helped them feel more confident about the process.

"Any financial aid, scholarship money will help tremendously," said Tom Kirsch.

The U.S. Department of Education provides more than $150 billion dollars each year to help students pay for higher education.

To learn more about the FAFSA, click here: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

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