ELEANOR, W.Va. -- Jim Cliffton got about halfway through his daughter's financial aid application before realizing he needed help.
"I had questions that I felt better about asking someone rather than finding the answers online," he said.
Cliffton, of Liberty, and his wife Tammy sat with their college-bound daughter Lilli at the Putnam Career and Technical Center during College Goal Sunday, waiting for help with the lengthy forms.
The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission set up 23 locations around the state to help students and their families complete the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA).
"A big percentage of [those in attendance] are first-generation college students. We see that statewide," said Karen Martin, with the education commission. "No one in their family has ever had to do this before."
Filling out a FAFSA can be an overwhelming experience, Martin said, noting parents can often be hesitant to give out personal information.
"Oh my goodness, it's overwhelming," said Linda Johns, who sat at a computer with her son Steven Nichols, 18. "We want to do it right."
Students must fill out the application to find out whether they are eligible for grants and loans to help cover college tuition.
"A lot [of students] aren't aware of what's available to them," said Debbie Moore, who handles financial aid at Putnam's technical center.
However, Beth Conner, of Winfield, does. She came Sunday to fill out the application for her daughter.