CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Following a pushed back enrollment date, parents of Kanawha County high school seniors bound for college will now get the chance to register for the Free Application for Student Aid, or FAFSA, during an event this Thursday, Feb. 1.

Part of WV FAFSA Day, those from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, WV State University, BridgeValley Community and Technical College, and the University of Charleston are teaming up to host the one-day KCS FAFSA Fair. It’s the first step to receive complete financial aid offers.

Despite the opening application date to enroll in FAFSA being moved from as early as Oct. 1 to now, as well as changes made by the U.S. Department of Education in the enrollment process, KCS Director of Counseling and Testing, Jon Duffy, said he expects the process to actually be a little smoother this year.

“So this year, given the changes, the application just opened in January, so it is going to be easier to fill out, but we want to make it as easy as possible for parents,” Duffy said.

Duffy said to further ease the process, they are giving parents and guardians the option of three separate locations to attend the event Thursday to speak with a financial aid expert one-on-one and get registered. The locations include WVSU Wilson Drain-Jordan Library, UC Clay Tower Building, or BridgeValley CTC Building 2000.

He said the pushed back enrollment date not only hurries the process along in receiving financial aid offers, as the priority deadline for that is March 1, but registration for scholarships such as the Promise tied to financial aid is also quickly approaching with a deadline of May 1 to have the FASFA completed for that.

Duffy said another major change this year is that parents/guardians and students will need to register for an FSA ID three days prior to the event.

“That’s a very, very important part in the process is that the parent and student going to Studentaid.gov and completing the FSA ID process, that is going to allow them to sign the application when they’re finished,” he said.

In addition, both student and guardian will need to bring their driver’s license and social security card, and guardians should also bring a copy of their 2022 tax return.

Duffy said this makes the second consecutive year KCS has partnered with the county’s local colleges and universities to hold the event, and last year they saw a good turnout.

“Last year when we held our fair we had around 100 parents who came and participated in the fair, so we know the need is there and we look forward to helping them through this important process,” said Duffy.

The FAFSA fair lasts from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at all three locations. You can register for a one-on-one session with a financial aid expert as part of the fair through this link.