Time for parents to tackle financial aid forms
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org/302-0949 February 23, 2014 6:36PM
Ivy Tech-Valparaiso financial aid advisor Claudia Saenz, center, helps Heather Cope, left, and her daughter, Taylor, as they fill out federal financial aid information at College Goal Sunday at Ivy Tech. | POST-TRIBUNE
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Updated: March 25, 2014 6:29AM
VALPARAISO — Parents and their college-bound children sat behind computer screens at Ivy Tech navigating the uncertain waters of federal financial aid.
With the March 10 deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid looming, parents received assistance from financial aid advisers from Ivy Tech and Valparaiso University during College Goal Sunday.
Ivy Tech was one of 41 sites across the state geared to help parents and students fill out online forms to be considered for federal and state grants, loans and scholarships.
College Goal Sunday, a charitable program offered by the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association, is celebrating its 25th year and has helped more than 90,000 students and their families complete the FAFSA forms on time.
Tammy Runyan, associate director of financial aid at Ivy Tech’s Valparaiso campus, said Sunday’s turnout was a big one with some parents and their teens showing up an hour early. “I think the form has gotten easier,” she said.
“This is very helpful, it’s not the easiest thing to figure out,” said Rick Chrabaszewski, of Valparaiso. His son, Scott, 17, a senior at Valparaiso High School plans to study information technology at Purdue University in West Lafayette.
Ashlyn Stiener, 17, a senior at Crown Point High School, watched as her parents, Tim and Tina Stiener filled out the online application. She’s still deciding between Valparaiso University and Purdue and she wants to become a pediatric dentist.
Nearby, Taylor Cope, a junior at Kankakee Valley High School in Wheatfield, and her mother, Heather Cope, received help from Claudia Saenz, an Ivy Tech financial aid advisor.
Cope said her daughter plans to attend the Ivy Tech campus after she graduates from high school in December.
Gjorgievska, of Lakes of the Four Seasons, filled out her own form. “It’s smooth and simple. Everybody can complete it. They’re awesome here.”
Gjorgievska is already an Ivy Tech student, and she’s studying energy technology and industrial technology.