College Fair: Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. you'll have the chance to talk with representatives from hundreds of colleges and learn more about the admissions process, scholarships, honors college options and more at the free National College Fair at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. See special pullout section starting on page 12.
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FAFSA help: It's not too late to get one-on-one help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Students need to complete the FAFSA if they want to apply for financial aid, including the Bright Futures Scholarship. St. Petersburg College is sponsoring a help session Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the college's Gibbs Campus. Bring the student's Federal Student Aid PIN, federal tax returns for 2013, records of untaxed income such as disability, a Social Security card and Social Security numbers and dates of birth for spouses and parents. For more information, call (727) 302-6802.
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College savings: A Qualified Tuition Plan, also known as a 529 plan, can help families put money away for a student's college education while also providing a tax benefit. Some websites that may provide useful insights:
- College Savings Plans Network: Explains a 529 college saving plan, prepaid plans, taxes and also a plan's effect on tuition programs. bit.ly/biz-cspn
- FinAid: Covers several 529 topics, from the program history to tax considerations. bit.ly/biz-529-topics
- U.S. Scholarship Guide: Answers to frequently asked questions. bit.ly/biz_529-intro
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: Provides a good overview of 529s. bit.ly/biz-529-sec - McClatchy