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How the FAFSA delay might impact you

October 17th, 2023

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA, is undergoing some major changes, causing a delay in the roll-out date by at least two months. This is the first major redesign in over 40 years and will create a more streamlined process for applicants.

Some of the changes include:

  • A new student aid index, which replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Expansion of federal Pell grant eligibility
  • Simplifying questions that determine a learner’s independent student status
  • Removing questions about Selective Service and drug convictions
  • Automatic population of federal income tax data from the IRS
  • More details about the school’s cost of attendance (COA)

While these upgrades will be beneficial for students over time, the delayed rollout presents challenges for colleges and applicants alike. The article to which we link today, from Inside Higher Ed, is an excellent resource for families trying to navigate the need-based financial aid process in this application cycle.

Article referenced below from Inside Higher Ed, published October 6, 2023, written by Katherine Knott and Liam Knox

Waiting for FAFSA

Helen Faith, the financial aid director at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is usually busy this time of year with a familiar agenda: hosting informational sessions on financial aid applications for families, reviewing prospective students’ forms and generally revving up her office’s well-oiled machinery to start crunching numbers and spitting out student aid packages.

But with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid launch delayed by at least two months, Faith’s fall calendar is up in the air. And she’s not the only one.

The FAFSA is at the center of the college financial aid system, unlocking billions in federal, state and institutional aid for more than 18 million students annually. The federal government is overhauling the form as part of a project known as FAFSA Simplification, delaying this year’s opening from Oct. 1 to sometime in December.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed>>