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College offers financial aid seminar Sunday
Goal of event is to educate
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Forsyth County News
At a glance

College Goal Sunday is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Continuing Education Building at North Georgia College & State University, 82 College Circle in Dahlonega. Students younger than 24 need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. For more information, call (706) 864-1400.

Financial aid is nothing new when it comes to education.

But with a struggling economy and the high cost of tuition, more students are seeking monetary assistance.

Fortunately for those new to the application process, educational organizations are lending a hand.

On Sunday, North Georgia College & State University will hold College Goal Sunday, bringing financial experts together with students and families on the Dahlonega campus.

“You don’t have to be attending [NGCSU] in the fall. They can be attending any university and still be able to attend the event,” said Kathy Tosh, financial aid counselor and event coordinator.

“One thing that we see also is that it’s not only freshmen entering college, but now there are more adults who have lost their jobs one way or another [and] have decided to go back to school. So they need as much as they can get.”

College Goal Sunday is open to all college-bound students, regardless of age, and will be held at about 20 different locations throughout the state.

Bob Carnaroli, director of counseling at West Forsyth High School, said all of the county’s high schools have held similar events for juniors and seniors.

West’s event last month drew more than 300 students and families to hear a representative from the Georgia Student Finance Commission speak.

“It can be a very scary time for parents as they get closer to trying to obtain money for college,” Carnaroli said. “I actually attended as a parent and as an employee this year, so I paid much closer attention than I have in the past.

“I have a junior ... and I was very impressed with the presentation they had this year.

While counselors at Forsyth County high schools can help with the application process, Carnaroli said, the “details change from year to year and there are lots of nuances and intricacies.”

“That’s why we have somebody come in and explain that to parents, because that’s not something you want to give misinformation about,” he said.

This marks the fourth year NGCSU has held the College Goal event.

Parents are encouraged to bring their tax information, whether a complete tax return or just W-2 forms. About 16 volunteers will be on hand to help parents.

The financial aid counselors will look over a paper version of applications, and families can submit their applications via computer before leaving.

“It’s a good opportunity to get the whole thing done in one two-hour period,” Tosh said.