Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center located at La Palmera Mall will host free workshops each Saturday in February for students wanting assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The workshops will be held on Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the mall location. Advisors from Coastal Bend College, Del Mar College, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville will be available to guide applicants step by step through the short application process. Students will also be able to receive assistance with admissions applications and other education services free of charge.

As one of the most important tools for receiving financial aid, the FAFSA is used by the U.S. Department of Education and higher education institutions to determine a student?s eligibility for student aid. Though many students wait to apply or do not apply at all because they believe they or their parents earn too much, many different factors are considered in addition to income when assessing eligibility.

Most students qualify for some type of financial aid. Therefore, it is highly recommended that all students who are enrolling in a college or university complete the FAFSA each year. Many colleges and universities have financial aid deadlines much earlier than the tax-filing deadline of April 15, so February is the ideal time to complete the FASFA.

"FAFSA Saturdays are the perfect opportunity for students of any age to explore college, career and trade school options and to discover the many sources of financial aid. The collaboration among the many organizations supporting this event means that students will be prepared as they pursue postsecondary education," according to Dr. Janet M. Cunningham, executive director of the Citizens for Education Excellence and Coastal Compass Director.

For more information about FAFSA Saturdays or any other Coastal Compass service, individuals may visit the Center Tuesday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., call 361-906-0703, email info@coastalcompass.org, or visit the website http://www.coastalcompass.org.