President Obama announced changes on FAFSA to help students complete
President Barack Obama announced on Tuesday some updates on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid process or FAFSA. This is a part of the president's aim to make college education more affordable for students and families.
President Obama stated new updates on FAFSA, Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa. Students and families can now apply for financial aid beginning October instead of January.
According to Newsweek, educational institutions require the FAFSA for students to apply for an aid. It is most commonly used by almost all colleges and universities to verify if the student is eligible for the aid. The government will settle how much students and families can contribute for a college education through FAFSA.
The White House said around 2 million college students who are eligible for Pell Grant doesn't apply for the aid. Some never even got into college because they don't know about it. Yet it would only take 20 minutes to complete the FAFSA process.
To address this issue, starting October 1, the authorities stated students could apply for it after they have filed for 2015 tax returns with the reliable electronic information from the IRS.
In line with that, the updates include a simpler online FAFSA form for families to be able to skip irrelevant questions. Income tax information filed the previous year could now be retrieved as well.
Currently, students must use tax information to apply for an aid. But taxes are due on April 15 and college institutions want students to decide by May 1.
Vox specified students can fill up the FAFSA with their tax information filed two years earlier. This policy is called the 'prior-prior year' by the administration. This will allow students to submit FAFSA earlier to colleges.
The new policy will benefit students and their families who could promptly fill up the forms as some states have earlier deadlines for the program. It would also help the family estimate costs for the college education and make early decisions.