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Financial aid workshop today

COVINGTON -- It's time for Newton County senior students and their parents to start thinking about how they will pay for college.

To help them out, the county's three high schools are holding a joint Financial Aid Workshop tonight so parents can get more information and ask any questions they may have.

Sherri Viniard, director of public relations for the Newton County School System, sent out an announcement Saturday that beginning at 6:30 p.m. today in the auditorium at Newton High School, senior students and their parents can hear a financial aid presentation.

At the workshop, representatives of the Georgia Student Finance Commission will present instructions on how parents and students can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form online.

"Not everyone is technologically savvy," said Francene Breakfield, a counselor at Newton High School. "It's really beneficial because (counselors) can't really talk to all of the parents like this one-on-one and parents might not be comfortable sharing that information with us."

She also said the representatives may try to provide other college information and answer parents' questions.

"They are going to get good information," she said. "(The representatives) know all of the answers."

The workshop is scheduled to be over by 8 p.m., and light refreshments will be available.

Parents may bring their W-2 information with them to the meeting, but they will not need the information since they complete the FAFSA online. Breakfield did suggest parents bring a pen and paper to take notes.

Viniard also encouraged parents and students to visit the Newton County School System Web site, www.newtoncountyschools.org, to get information about local scholarships, many of which have a Feb. 1 deadline. More information is under the "Parents" and "Students" sections of the Web site.