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New FAFSA Change to Make College Aid Decision Earlier and Easier

Eliset Sanchez, Staff Reporter

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On September 14th, the Obama administration announced changes to the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA is a program used to determine federal aid including the Pell Grant for low income students. It also determines the eligibility for subsidized and unsubsidized loans. This is the college aid form that millions of students complete to apply for federal, state or college based aid.

The new changes become effective in October of 2016, which means it will have a huge impact on families with high school juniors today, as well as those families with younger children. High school seniors next year will be eligible to apply for financial aid for their freshman academic year of college in 2017-2018, by submitting the FAFSA in October 2016. This means they will be using income tax information from their parents’ 2015 tax returns. From now on, students’ college financial eligibility will be based off of income from two years prior to when a student enrolls in college, not a year prior the way it has been until now.

Many people have been waiting for College Board to announce whether it would be following the new changes. Students are concerned about this because many of them are familiar with the FAFSA. Junior Ronnys Rojas noted, “I believe that the College Board will accept this change because it will make the process earlier and easier.” Senior Natasha Negrao agreed and noted that the colleges would still receive the information they need, but this way the students will know about the aid offered before they actually commit to a school.

FAFSAchanges

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New FAFSA Change to Make College Aid Decision Earlier and Easier