Draft FAFSA Released

"The first version of what the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid will look like is here, and it’s not the short application many have hoped for. It has 46 questions and runs 21 pages, although many students won’t have to answer all the questions," Inside Higher Ed reports.

... "'[A] paper form was never going to be simpler,' said Jill Desjean, a senior policy analyst with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. 'The online experience is where the simplicity is because you can get that data directly from the IRS, and you’ve got all the skip logic built in. Technology and new legislation has made it such that the dream of the shorter FAFSA really became the dream of the shorter and simpler online FAFSA.'"

"'The cost of attendance is a necessary component of student aid eligibility, and it cannot be constructed accurately without knowing a student’s housing choice,' NASFAA president Justin Draeger wrote in a letter to the department. 'Removing the housing choice question from the FAFSA both defeats the purpose and goes against Congress’ intent for FAFSA simplification.'"

"Several of the comments already posted on the form urge the department to add the question back. Desjean said the FAFSA Simplification Act restricts which questions the department can add to the form."

"Currently, colleges and universities use a single estimate for housing costs regardless of whether the student plans to live on or off campus. However, the act requires institutions to be more precise with on-campus housing costs. Desjean said knowing students’ plans would help administrators prepare more accurate offers. Desjean said that administrators will eventually know where a student is living."

"'But that’s not when the students are getting their financial aid offer and making their decisions about what they want to borrow,' she said. 'What will happen is they’ll get this somewhat accurate financial aid package in March or April, and then it will have to get updated in like June or July, whenever the school is sorting out their on-campus housing.'"

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: 3/28/2023

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