FAFSA Form Gets a Makeover: What it Means for Your Financial Aid
Starting with the 2024-2025 academic year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is getting a much-needed makeover.
This revamp aims to simplify the aid application process for millions of students and families who depend on financial assistance to make college affordable.
While the changes promise to improve access to vital funding, some updates may also reduce aid for certain applicants.
The most noticeable change is a redesigned online form with fewer questions to complete. The streamlined application does away with information FAFSA already accesses from the IRS, removing up to 22 questions that families found repetitive.
A mobile app option also makes completing the form on smartphones easier.
However, while the new FAFSA promises added convenience, it has also stirred up controversy over reduced aid. The form's financial need formula failed to account for recent spikes in inflation, meaning some middle- and lower-income applicants may see smaller aid packages next year.
Experts estimate this could impact aid eligibility for up to 3 million students.
To avoid common mistakes, families should remember key FAFSA tips:
Meet state and school deadlines, which are often much earlier than the federal cutoff.
Double check for submission errors before sending it in.
Contact your school's financial aid office with any special circumstances impacting your family's finances.
While the revamped FAFSA aims to provide more access to free money for school, the application is still complex.
Staying informed on the changes and seeking help to avoid mistakes can help families maximize this vital financial assistance.