Changes For FAFSA In 2010 | 10.05.09
The good news: The Department of Education has recently announced that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is getting a facelift. The new FAFSA will be shorter and more intuitive than ever before.
Who will be affected by the changes? Any present or prospective college student who plans on applying for federal financial aid for the 2010 – 2011 school year will be affected by the FAFSA overhaul.
What are the changes? The goal of changing the FAFSA is to make it easier and less time consuming. The current FAFSA contains more than 100 questions. The new FAFSA will be organized more logically and contain fewer questions. It will eliminate some questions across the board and some sections for certain applicants. The online form will automatically adjust which questions to ask based on information that the applicant provides at the beginning of the process.
When are the changes taking place? The FAFSA changes are happening now and they will be seen on the 2010 – 2011 application when it comes out in January.
Why are changes being made? If you have ever filled out the FAFSA before you know that it is not something to look forward to. Filing the FAFSA can be extremely taxing for students and their parents. Changes are being made because authorities are confident that shortening the FAFSA will help families get the aid they need without adding a lot of stress to the process. Additionally, making it easier to apply for federal aid will increase the number of eligible students who submit applications.
How are they doing this? You might wonder how the government can afford to trim down such an important process. The key to the change is eliminating redundancy. Questions about tax data will be eliminated because that information is available through the Internal Revenue Service database. Also, questions that have little affect on aid award will be eliminated. Some students are concerned that if certain questions are eliminated they will not receive as much aid as they should, but according to Caesar Storlazzi, Yale’s Director of Student Financial Services, since FAFSA is only one part of the financial aid application process the changes should not impact the amounts of student financial aid awards.
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