Students who apply for the FAFSA will now be impacted by the recent changes made to the application starting this year and through 2024-2025.
One of the most principal factors of getting ready for college is understanding what financial aid is. Student financial aid is used to help pay for higher education, as of recently, student eligibility will be determined by a different terminology.
Student eligibility use to be determined by Expected Family Contribution, which was used to calculate how much a student and their family could afford to pay for higher education. Now, the terminology will transform into the Student Aid Index, which may help identify students with a higher need for assistance and make the application shorter.
Another change includes the qualifications for receiving a federal Pell Grant. The Pell Grant will now be based mainly on income and family size. This will result in families being able to view how much they qualify for financial aid before filing.
Other changes include which parent can fill out the application for dependent students. For parents who are divorced and separated, the parent who is obtaining guardianship for most of the year should fill out the application. For parents who have equal custody, this responsibility will fall to the parent with the highest income.
Usually, the FAFSA becomes available on Oct. 1, which is the year before the academic year. With the recent changes, the FAFSA will now be available in December.
Applying for financial aid can feel like a stressful process, but with the new changes, it may become easier and straightforward.
Written by Jasmine Hightower, Entertainment Editor. Photo courtesy of CNET.