Student Aid Eligibility Changes Under FAFSA Simplification

"A new Free Application for Federal Student Aid is less than a year away, and colleges and universities are already planning for the expected overhaul of federal student aid," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"To help with that effort, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators created a modeling tool and is planning to release a white paper this week with seven case studies that show how the changes affect student aid eligibility. For the most part, student aid eligibility is not expected to change that much, but the case studies show some of the instances in which eligibility would change.

'Every single student isn’t going to be in the financial aid office saying, ‘What happened to my Pell Grant?’ Every school isn’t going to be facing huge budget shortfalls,' said Jill Desjean, senior policy analyst for NASFAA, who designed the case studies in the white paper. 'For many students, they’ll get the same amount of Pell Grant as they usually did. Their eligibility for other aid will be about the same as it was.'

The U.S. Department of Education will release a new version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid next October that’s expected to be shorter and simpler and go into effect for the 2024–25 academic year. The new application, which is the first step for millions of students to receive federal financial aid as well as need-based state and institutional aid, is one of several changes called for in the FAFSA Simplification Act. The act expanded Pell Grant eligibility, simplified the application and its underlying requirements, and repealed the limitations on subsidized loan eligibility for undergraduate Direct Loans. Additionally, the expected family contribution, which is used to measure how much students can afford to contribute to their college education, will be replaced by the student aid index.

'The impact of these changes is really far-ranging for schools, certainly for planning institutional budgets,' Desjean said. 'If they’re going to have more students with more need, they’re going to have to have higher institutional budgets to meet that need.'

NASFAA and other groups are still waiting for more concrete guidance from the department about how to implement the various changes."

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 10/25/2022

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