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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Two big chances for college-bound families to save money

Posted October 20, 2021 4:51 p.m. EDT
Updated October 20, 2021 7:37 p.m. EDT

— Parents of college-bound students can take advantage of two opportunities this week to save some money.

On Saturday, FAFSA Drive-In Day will take place at several locations across the state. The FAFSA or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an important document to fill out for student financial aid for college. Saturday's event, which starts at 10 a.m., will help students and parents fill out FAFSA form to apply for financial aid.

Triangle area locations offering FAFSA Drive-In Day include:

  • Barton College
  • Fayetteville Tech Community College
  • North Carolina Central University
  • North Carolina A&T State University – Virtual
  • Wake Tech Community College – Main Campus 401S

Get a full list of locations participating on the event.

By completing and submitting a FAFSA, students are automatically considered for federal student aid. In addition, your state and college may use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for nonfederal aid.

Completing the FAFSA is an easy process, and it’s completely free. It is recommended that students file the FAFSA online, as applications process within 3-5 days; Those who submit a paper FAFSA can expect theirs to processes within 7-10 days.

Many high school seniors don’t complete FAFSA applications because they don’t intend to go to college. However, many who don’t complete the FAFSA do end up going to college but assume they won’t qualify for aid. One group, myFutureNC, a nonprofit established to help increase educational attainment in the state, estimates that North Carolina students were eligible for about $107 million in aid in 2020 that they never applied for.

“The pandemic has really limited the flow of information for many students and families, but we really wan to get the word out that aid and assistance is available,” said Cris Charbonneau, director of advocacy and engagement for myFutureNC. “We are really striving to not let the circumstances of the pandemic dim these really bright futures.”

MyFutureNC suggests students bring the following to Saturday's FAFSA Day events:

  • Wear your mask
  • Charged laptop OR mobile device to work on FAFSA application
  • Using a mobile device? Download myStudentAid app to complete your FAFSA on your mobile device
  • FSA ID to login to and sign your FAFSA application (This can be created beforehand, or at the time of application.)
  • Know your social security number (student and parent(s)/guardian(s))
  • Driver’s license (if you do not have one, don’t worry about this step)
  • Copy of 2020 tax returns
  • Records of any untaxed income and assets
  • List of schools you have or plan to apply to

In addition to FAFSA Day, it is also free application week for more than 40 colleges and universities and all community colleges in the state through CFNC.org. The deadline to take advantage of the waived fees is 5 p.m. Friday.