Hope College will be one of approximately 30 sites statewide hosting "College Goal Sunday," which has been scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 8, as an opportunity for families to obtain assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The event is intended for any student who will be attending a college or university in the fall of 2009 and is seeking financial aid.  The assistance is free.

The session at Hope will take place in room 151 of Van Zoeren Hall from 2 to 4 p.m. Approximately every 30 minutes, families will be organized into groups of about 20 for a brief presentation on the application that will be followed by the opportunity to complete the FAFSA with assistance from trained volunteers.  Financial aid personnel from a variety of area colleges and universities will be on-hand to answer questions as well.

The FAFSA is required for any student seeking federal and state financial aid, including grants and loans at all colleges in the country.  The deadline for submitting the form for maximum aid eligibility in the fall of 2009 is March 1.

Students under 23 years of age are encouraged to attend with a parent or guardian.  Parents and students should bring their families' completed 2008 IRS 1040 tax return (if possible) or their W-2 and 1099 forms.

Students and families are encouraged to visit the host site nearest them, regardless of the college or university that they plan to attend.  Additional host sites in West Michigan include Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor; the Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency in Fremont; the Pew Campus of Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids; Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo; and Baker College in Muskegon.

College Goal Sunday began in Indiana in 1989 as a joint project of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association and the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc.  States across the nation now participate, although the specific dates vary.

The event began in Michigan in 2004 with cooperation with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Lumina Foundation for Education.  Since the program began, more than 4,500 students in Michigan have participated.

Van Zoeren Hall is located at 20 E. 10th St., along 10th Street between Central and College avenues, and access will be through the north (10th Street) door of the building.

Additional information about College Goal Sunday in Michigan, including a complete listing of host sites, is available at www.micollegegoal.org