Park staff provides support to fill out financial aid forms


Samiya Mohamed

Senior Caitlin Arf is working on filling out her FAFSA application, Oct.25. FAFSA is a federal student aid to help pay for college.

Dahlia Krebs

A workshop took place at 4:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 25 in the library media center at Park to provide assistance to parents filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

According to career and college coordinator Kara Mueller, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the required form in order to apply for aid from the federal government or the state of Minnesota.

“The first time you do the FAFSA, as a parent, it can be overwhelming. It’s scary and you have lots of questions. We bring in a professional from a financial aid office in one of our local colleges,” Mueller said. “Today we had a woman from Normandale and myself; as a career and college coordinator, I know a lot about the FAFSA. We support parents to be in one spot and if they get stuck on anything or have any questions, they have a support system in us.”

Sophomore Audrey Long said having a workshop in school to help fill out the Free Application for FAFSA is very beneficial to students because of the complexity of financial aid.

“It is good because financial aid is hard and complicated and you should know how to (fill it out) better,” Long said.

According to Mueller, having people around to help and answer questions about the FAFSA allows parents to get used to completing the form, as they have to do it every year.

“In order to qualify for federal student aid, you have to repeat and complete the FAFSA every year you are in college,” Mueller said. “Because they have had the support (filling it out) here, they’ll be more confident to do it the next couple years.”

Long said when she is a senior, she would definitely use a resource like the workshop to help her fill out the FAFSA.

“I would take advantage of it. I want to have the possibility to get all the financial aid I can,” Long said

Mueller said creating an environment that was solely to help parents fill out the FAFSA was the main point of the workshop.

“The goal is to have a place for parents to feel comfortable, bring their materials, and complete the FAFSA,” Mueller said. “Of the parents who came with their children, they successfully completed their FAFSA or got at least three-fourths of it done.”