USA Funds® has awarded grants totaling $485,000 to support College Goal Sunday® programs in 26 states and the District of Columbia during 2013.
College Goal Sunday is 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.
"These funds will help tens of thousands of students achieve an important milestone on their path to college, completing the FAFSA to qualify for financial aid to help them pay their college expenses," said Robert C. Ballard, USA Funds senior vice president, Access and Outreach.
College Goal Sunday events, typically conducted in January and February, bring together college 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.
The USA Funds grants will support efforts to organize, promote and conduct College Goal Sunday programs in Washington, D.C., and the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.
Earlier this year, USA Funds assumed ownership of and administrative responsibility for College Goal Sunday.
College Goal Sunday originated in Indiana in 1989 and has grown to serve 39,000 students and parents annually. A total of 33 states and the District of Columbia are expected to host College Goal Sunday events in 2013.
For more information about College Goal Sunday and links to individual state College Goal Sunday program websites, visit www.collegegoalsundayusa.org.