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Financial Aid Info

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a vital part of ensuring that students are eligible to receive federal financial aid. More than 85% of students nationally receive some form of financial aid to pay for college, without which students would likely not be able to enroll in their college of choice.

The U.S. Department of Education, which oversees FAFSA, is making major changes for this coming year. The goal of this revamped process is to achieve a simpler and more straightforward mechanism for students and families to apply for federal aid. The key points are listed below.

  • Later Open Date: For this school year, FAFSA will not open until December (exact date TBD) as the Department of Education continues to roll out the new site and changes. During future school years, FAFSA will once again be available on the traditional opening date in October.
  • Fewer Questions: FAFSA is shrinking from 108 questions to a much shorter 46 questions. This is intended to facilitate an easier overall process for students and families.
  • Increase in Number of Colleges to Receive FAFSA Information: When completing FAFSA, students select the colleges they would like to receive the information to formulate financial aid offers. Previously, students could only list up to 10 colleges; going forward, students will be able to list up to 20 colleges.
  • More Home Language Options: Currently, FAFSA is only available in English and Spanish. The new application will now include the 11 most common home languages spoken by English Language Learners, increasing accessibility for many students and families.
  • Automated Data from IRS: The system has streamlined the ability to populate information from the IRS, rather than families having to manually enter the data or use an external data retrieval tool.
  • New Funding Formulas: Lower-income families will be eligible for increased aid. The term "Expected Family Contribution: is being replaced by "Student Aid Index" and can now be a negative number, as low as -1,500 for those with the most financial need.
  • Automatic Pell Grants: Students of families making less than 175% of the federal poverty level and single parents making less than 225% of the federal poverty level will automatically receive the maximum Pell Grant.