Help is available for Maine students and families seeking financial aid for higher education in 2016.

If your child plans to attend college, trade or technical school in the fall, January is when families should get serious about financial aid applications. Funds are limited, so it is important for families to understand the process to make sure their student receives the maximum amount of financial aid available.

The 2016-17 FAFSA can be completed anytime starting Jan. 1.

To help students and parents navigate the financial aid process, the Finance Authority of Maine will hold numerous Free Application for Federal Student Aid Help Sessions around the state.

Mid-Maine Technical Center in Waterville will host a workshop at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21. To register, visit

Available as resources at the help sessions will be FAME staff, financial aid professionals from Maine colleges and universities, college access professionals, and other volunteers, working together to help college-bound students and their families complete the FAFSA at no charge.

FAFSA is the federal application that all schools use to determine student eligibility for federal financial aid. Many states (including Maine) and schools also use the FAFSA to distribute their own need-based financial aid.

If families can’t attend an in-person help session, they can visit for online support. There, they can download an information checklist and watch a video that offers tips on how to fill out the FAFSA form. Families can also call 800-228-3734 with questions.

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