"What does a pug looking at a computer have to do with the Oct. 1 start date for parents and students to fill out the federal financial aid form known as the FAFSA? It is all about spreading the word about the new start, changed from Jan 1," according to Reuters. "Social media memes like 'FAFSA in October? #PUGYEAH' are just part of the messaging to high school seniors, college students and parents. The 'get the word out' efforts come from many directions, said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)."
"Along with national organizations like Draeger's and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the effort is joined by the U.S. Department of Education, student loan lenders like Sallie Mae, plus college financial aid offices and high school guidance counselors across the country.
The earlier start is intended to help families integrate the financial aid process with college choice, so that they will know how much they will be expected to pay before finalizing applications.
The goal is to make the filing process easier, because families need to provide detailed tax and asset information. The numbers get crunched to produce a dollar figure called the 'expected family contribution,' which colleges use to figure out a student's financial aid package.
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. When parents used to file the form in January, they had to estimate their upcoming taxes that were due on April 15. This caused complications for people who had not yet received required documents like their annual W-2 wage and tax statement.
The end dates for filing the FAFSA vary by state - in many states it is June 30 of the following year. Experts advise filing as early as possible, because aid dollars usually are allotted on a 'first come, first served' basis."
NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.
Publication Date: 9/22/2016