- The U.S. Division of Schooling plans to subject the brand new iteration of the Free Utility for Federal Scholar Assist, or FAFSA, by the top of December, possible additional stressing faculties that might want to make awards on a truncated timeline.
- The company introduced the brand new schedule Wednesday. Up thus far, the Schooling Division had mentioned the brand new FAFSA would debut in December, however didn’t specify a date. The company now says it’s going to start processing on-line FAFSA submissions in January and paper variations of the shape in February. The Schooling Division didn’t determine when throughout these months the method would begin.
- The Nationwide Affiliation of Scholar Monetary Assist Directors, or NASFAA, on Wednesday bemoaned the timetable, which it mentioned is “slowing the supply of monetary help affords to some college students even additional, and making this already troublesome enrollment yr much more fraught with challenges.”
In 2020, Congress handed a regulation authorizing a simplification of the FAFSA, which was a notoriously prolonged and unwieldy type for households and college students to finish. The modifications had been partly meant to make the shape extra accessible to traditionally marginalized college students who face the tallest boundaries to reaching school.
Nevertheless, redesigning the FAFSA has prompted a number of delays. A December FAFSA launch will likely be three months later than has been typical in recent times. This has pressured faculties’ monetary help departments, which are actually working on shortened timelines and attempting to relearn a federal doc that has not seen a serious redesign in 40 years.
The brand new FAFSA reduces the variety of questions from 108 to 36.
Justin Draeger, NASFAA president, mentioned in a press release Wednesday that any vital delay within the FAFSA will depart “essentially the most susceptible scholar populations in limbo.” Low-income college students typically depend on monetary help packages to find out which school they’ll afford to attend.
“We urge our federal companions to do all they’ll to offer applicant knowledge to establishments as shortly as doable, and to obviously talk with colleges as quickly as updates can be found,” Draeger mentioned.
The Schooling Division mentioned the FAFSA modifications, which additionally increase federal Pell Grant eligibility for some college students, will lead to 610,000 new low-income college students receiving the grants.
It estimated 1.5 million extra college students will likely be eligible for the utmost Pell Grant, which for the 2023–24 award yr is $7,395. Greater than 5.2 million college students will qualify for the utmost.
“When college students and households fill out the higher FAFSA type, they may discover that making use of for school monetary help is less complicated, simpler, and sooner than ever earlier than,” U.S. Schooling Secretary Miguel Cardona mentioned in a press release Wednesday.