Lumina Foundation and USA Funds® announce that USA Funds has assumed ownership of and administrative responsibility for College Goal SundaySM, a nationwide program that helps college-bound students and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the form necessary to qualify for many student aid programs to pay college expenses.
USA Funds will provide support to organizations that coordinate College Goal Sunday events nationwide. Last year, 39 states and the District of Columbia conducted College Goal Sunday events, helping more than 39,000 students and parents complete and file the FAFSA.
College Goal Sunday events, typically conducted in January and February, bring together financial aid professionals and other volunteers who help students and parents complete the FAFSA, the application required to determine student eligibility for the key federal student aid programs, as well as for many state-sponsored and college-specific student aid programs. Despite significant improvements by the federal government in streamlining and simplifying the FAFSA, the form continues to pose a paperwork barrier to college access for some students, particularly those who are first in their families to attend college and those from economically disadvantaged households.
“As a nonprofit organization that works to promote preparation for, access to and success in higher education, and a longtime funder of College Goal Sunday, we look forward to the opportunity to help more families qualify for student aid for college,” said Carl C. Dalstrom, USA Funds president and CEO. “During our initial year as College Goal Sunday national administrator, we will work closely with our partners at Lumina Foundation and the YMCA of the USA to ensure a smooth transition of the program. In future years, we plan initiatives to reach even more families with FAFSA-filing assistance.”
Since 2002 USA Funds has provided grants totaling nearly $2.9 million to support College Goal Sunday programs in 13 states. USA Funds’ support helped establish College Goal Sunday in several states, including Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi and Wyoming.
“Lumina Foundation has been pleased to be the primary sponsor of College Goal Sunday for many years, helping thousands of students and families achieve their college dreams in most states in the nation,” said Jamie Merisotis, Lumina Foundation president and CEO. “We believe that the transfer of ownership and administrative responsibilities to USA Funds will help expand College Goal Sunday’s capacities, thereby offering FAFSA-filing assistance to many more college-bound students. We also thank the YMCA of the USA, which has managed the program during the past three years, for its careful stewardship and its work to expand the reach of College Goal Sunday to underserved populations.”
“I am excited about the next evolution of College Goal Sunday,” said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA. “USA Funds has been a long-term partner of the Y and College Goal Sunday. With its history and deep experience in college access services, USA Funds is well suited to improve and grow the program.”
College Goal Sunday began in Indiana in 1989 as a joint project of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association and the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc.
For more information about College Goal Sunday and links to individual state College Goal Sunday program websites, visit www.collegegoalsundayusa.org.