FASFA Simplified in 2016
The New York Times’ recently posted article called “Applying for Financial Aid Is About to Get Easier” explains just that. The financial aid process for colleges is receiving a face-lift in 2016 — a streamlined and simplified FASFA. Presently, applying for aid is complicated enough that many low-income students do not make it through the process. A new FASFA process will allow tax data to automatically port into the FASFA, freeing up your time and eliminating data-entry errors that can delay applications. In addition to this change, the FASFA has a new filing date.
In the current process, when a student applies to college in the fall and plans to attend classes the following fall, they can’t file a FASFA until January. The FASFA’s current timeline dispenses aid-package information months after students have already applied to schools. Telling students about financial opportunities after the application process is not the way to convince students that college can be affordable. Thus, as of fall 2016, a new timeline is in place.
Students planning to attend college in fall 2017 will be able to file the FASFA in fall 2016 (as early as October). By receiving federal aid eligibility as they submit college applications, students are equipped to make time-sensitive decisions based on financial facts. This new timeline allows colleges to announce financial decisions earlier (colleges currently release grant information in March and April), and may maximize aid opportunities for students that apply early.
Click here to read more at NYTimes.com and learn about the future of FASFA and other Department of Education tools.