To help students and parents navigate the complicated college financial aid process, Congresswoman Kathy Castor will hold a financial aid workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Student Services Building at Hillsborough Community College.
TAMPA – To help students and parents navigate the complicated college financial aid process, Congresswoman Kathy Castor will hold a financial aid workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Student Services Building at Hillsborough Community College.
In addition to the other experts, Castor will be joined by a University of South Florida representative, who will give a presentation called “Financial Aid 101.” Castor also will be joined by a U.S. Department of Education expert, who will explain the additional money available for higher education through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Other financial aid experts will be on hand to show students and their parents how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. All high school students and their parents are encouraged to attend. The FAFSA deadline in Florida is May 15.
“The colleges financial aid application process isn’t easy and families who can afford to are paying for professional consultants. This workshop will level the playing field and make expert advice available to guide all students and their parents as they apply for help to pay for college,” Castor said. “Parents and students particularly need help now as we work through these tough economic times. There is financial aid out there, and even more help is now available thanks to President Obama’s Recovery Act.”
The Recovery Act sets aside $17.1 billion for Pell Grants and increases the maximum Pell Grant by $500, from $4,850 to $5,350 in 2009 and $5,350 in 2010. Pell Grants, which help students pay for college, will be available in July, just in time to help students with the new school year.
The Recovery Act also creates a new “American Opportunity” tax credit of up to $2,500, and families who don’t earn enough to owe income taxes can now qualify for this credit. Also, the income limit for couples filing jointly is $160,000. The credit covers expenses including tuition, fees and even books.
WHO: Congresswoman Kathy Castor
College financial aid experts
WHAT: College financial aid workshop for students and parents to learn how to apply for financial aid and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Bring your 2008 IRS 1040 tax returns and W-2 statements. If available, bring records for untaxed income for 2008, such as Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare or veteran’s benefits; a 2008 bank statement; driver’s license or alien registration card; any 2008 business or investment mortgage information; and business, farm, stock, bond and other investment records.
WHERE: Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry Campus, Student Services Building
WHEN: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday, May 2