NerdWallet: Big changes to the FAFSA are coming: How it can affect your college aid

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.  For the first time in 40 years, students will see a completely revamped Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These changes are part of the FAFSA Simplification Act and should benefit most families, but some households could see their eligible aid decrease significantly, experts say.

“Overall, I think there are a lot more winners,” says MorraLee Keller, senior director of strategic programming at the National College Attainment Network, a nonprofit organization supporting college affordability. On the other hand, Keller says she doesn’t want to underestimate the negative impact those changes may have on some families. The FAFSA Simplification Act aims to streamline the application process, remove barriers for key student populations and expand federal aid eligibility. Notable changes to the FAFSA include:
Replacing the Expected Family Contribution with the Student Aid Index.

Expanding Federal Pell Grant eligibility.

Automatically populating federal income tax data from the IRS.

Adding details that determine a school’s cost of attendance.

Removing questions about Selective Service and drug convictions.

Simplifying questions that determine the independent status of students in unusual circumstances, such as homeless students, orphans or former foster youth. Institutions will have more flexibility in adjusting certain factors that impact federal student aid for these students.

Translating the application so it will be available in more languages.

The long-awaited changes will launch in December 2023. Plus: Run, don’t walk to apply for college grants: Student loan interest rates are highest in 10 yearsHow the FAFSA changes will impact your aid Changes that will impact most students The De …

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