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Education/Schools

February 21, 2014

FED AID, LOCAL PUSH: New Albany mayor joins FAFSA promotion

NEW ALBANY — He’s the chief executive of New Albany government, but Mayor Jeff Gahan is lending his endorsement to a cause that’s not usually associated with municipal affairs.

Gahan has touted the importance of applying for financial aid in a recent Youtube video, as well as through messages on the city’s website.

He will attend College Goal Sunday this weekend to further show his support, as Gahan said high school students should apply before the March 10 deadline even if they’re not sure they will attend college.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is “the first step to solving a big piece of the financial puzzle should students decide they want to attend college,” Gahan said Thursday.

Students who don’t think they can afford college might be surprised after they research FAFSA and learn about the grants and loans available.

“I would encourage them before they make that final judgment or decision, to fill out the forms and see what happens,” Gahan said.

College Goal Sunday sessions are being held across the state this weekend, and the local event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Indiana University Southeast. Professionals will be on hand to help students and their parents apply for federal aid for college.

Gahan said he will take part in efforts in the future to educate the public about FAFSA because he believes it’s important for everyone, not just students and their families.

“I don’t think it’s promoted enough,” he said.

Collegegoalsunday.org is sponsoring the events, as 40 sites across the state will be holding FAFSA sessions. Students 23 years of age or younger should attend with their parents or guardians and bring their completed 2013 IRS 1040 tax return, W-2 form, or other 2013 income information. Students that worked last year should also bring their income information.

FAFSA forms can also be picked up in the mayor’s office or in the City Clerk’s office, both of which are located on the third-floor of the City-County Building.

For more information, call Learn More Indiana at 1-800-992-2076.

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ON THE WEB

• cashforcollegeindiana.org

• fafsa.gov

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