What is College Goal Tennessee?
College Goal Tennessee is a non-profit program that provides free information and assistance to Tennessee families applying for financial assistance for higher education. College Goal Tennessee mobilizes financial aid professionals from Tennessee colleges, universities, career colleges, and technology centers to help families of college-bound students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the federally required form for students seeking financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and loans, throughout the nation.

When is College Goal Tennessee?
Tennessee's College Goal Tennessee Programs will take place in January and February, 2015 at locations around the state.

Who should participate in College Goal Tennessee?

Students and families in low-income and minority communities who need help applying for financial aid to attend college should not miss College Goal Tennessee. All students and their families are encouraged to attend

Why is College Goal Tennessee important?
This one-day event will help families of college-bound students take the first step in applying for college by going through a two-hour moderated session that will lead to a completed financial aid form for the student.

What do I need to bring?
Students and their parents should bring:

This information is helpful to complete the FAFSA, but not required to attend.

Who can I contact with questions?
Anyone interested in learning more about College Goal Tennessee may call 800-342-1663 or email us at

Do students need to register?
In order to provide the best possible service to students now and in the future, we ask that students register using the online Student Registration form.

What if I cannot attend College Goal Tennessee or would like more assistance after February, 2015?
Students and families who need additional assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or who are looking for more resources on financial aid should visit or contact the Financial Aid office at the college, university, carreer college, or technical school that you plan to attend. 

What if I am not sure whether or not I am going to college?
Many students are not sure if they will be attending right after high school or have been out of high school for some time. By filling out the FAFSA there is no obligation to attend, however, by completing the FAFSA form critical deadlines will not be missed if the student decides to apply to college later in the year.

Who Sponsors College Goal Tennessee?
College Goal Tennessee is supported and administered by a joint partnership between the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), and volunteers comprised of members of the Tennessee Association of Financial Aid Administrator (TASFAA), as well as members of Tennessee Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers , and the Tennessee Association of Special Programs-TRIO Funding for this program comes from Lumina Foundation for Education, an Indianapolis based, private, independent foundation that strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding access and success in education beyond high school. Through research, grants for innovative programs and communication initiatives, Lumina Foundation addresses issues surrounding financial access and educational retention and degree of certificate attainment – particularly among underserved student groups, including adult learners. The foundation bases its mission on the belief that postsecondary education remains one of the most beneficial investments that individuals can make in themselves and that society can make in its people.

Program Background
In 1989, the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA) and the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI) started the program now known as “College Goal Sunday.” The financial aid community in Indiana recognized that information and direct assistance with completing the financial aid forms were key factors in helping children from minority, low income, and first generation families go to college.

Despite the fact that there were millions of dollars of financial aid available to many of these families, the perception that higher education was too expensive was a huge barrier to large numbers of students who never even applied.

Funding from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. (and later the Lumina Foundation), made it possible to create this program that relied heavily on the expertise of financial aid administrators across the state. They chose a Sunday during February, Financial Aid Awareness Month, and named it “College Goal Sunday.” On this day, financial aid volunteers helped families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in various locations throughout the state.

The promotion of the College Goal SundaySM event was instrumental in not only encouraging attendance at the multiple sites across the state, but also publicizing awareness. The information campaign is designed to reach low-income Indiana residents. The campaign uses news media, direct mail and celebrity appearances to inform the public about the importance of higher education, the availability of funds to assist in paying for this education and the existence of College Goal SundaySM to help get the ball rolling by helping them complete the FAFSA.

Over the years, there has been continued financial support from the Lilly Endowment and beyond. USA Group Foundation has co-funded the program for several years and provided matching grants to replicate the College Goal SundaySM program in Arizona (1997), Kansas (1999), Kentucky (2001), Washington, D.C./Baltimore area, Hawaii and California (2002).

In 2004, NASFAA was awarded a grant to manage the College Goal SundaySM program that served 20,000 students and families in 2003. College Goal SundaySM programs have increased the number of sites and have served more than 100,000 students and families in 2007.

The College Goal SundaySM program was created by the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association with funding from Lilly Endowment, Inc.,
and with supplemental support from Lumina Foundation for Education.