Traditionally, students preparing for college or graduate school must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to qualify for federal grants and loans. The FAFSA application window runs from January 1 to June 30 for the upcoming school year, so if you were going to school in September 2015, you sent in a FAFSA sometime before June 30, 2015.
While the application has become easier in recent years, it still takes time and persistence. Even once the FAFSA is filed, students must sometimes wait until their taxes - and their parents taxes - are filed for the paperwork to be processed. By the time students receive their financial aid packages, they have already applied to colleges and may have even made a decision on where to go without knowing how much funding they will have.
Under the new proposal being made by President Obama, the FAFSA will change in the following ways:
- Students can begin the process the October before the next school year
- Information from the FAFSA can be retrieved electronically from the IRS based on current tax returns
These steps should simplify the process, making it easier for families to get the financial assistance that is available to them for higher education.
If you plan on undertaking higher education in 2016, PathWays PA is here to help with the FAFSA process. Please visit us online or contact us at 610-543-5022 for more information.