The free 2022-2023 Federal Student Aid app, known as FAFSA, opened on October 1 with a new online design …
The free 2022-2023 Federal Student Aid app, known as FAFSA, opened on October 1 with a new online design and some tweaks to financial reporting issues.
The FAFSA filing is required for students who wish to be considered for federal financial aid and is used by colleges and states to determine eligibility for grants and scholarships. Students must reapply each year to receive assistance.
The 2022-2023 FAFSA submission deadline is June 30, 2023, but deadlines vary by institution and state.
“Everyone should fill out a FAFSA form,” says Charlie Javice, founder and CEO of Frank and head of student solutions at JPMorgan Chase. “Your financial situation shouldn’t really matter, as it kind of leaves the door open even to private scholarships if you don’t qualify for need-based aid. So it’s super important, regardless of your household income, for the deposit of that.
[Read: Is the FAFSA Required?]
While the app has not changed directly due to the coronavirus pandemic, individuals’ income or employment may have changed. Since the FAFSA 2022-2023 relies on information from 2020 income tax returns, a student can directly inform financial aid offices about changes in their financial situation. Colleges then use their professional judgment on a case-by-case basis to determine adjustments to the CEF, also known as the expected family contribution.
Be prepared to check for financial changes. If job loss is the reason for outdated tax information, for example, students or families should provide documents such as a separation letter, employer statement or unemployment benefit stub, according to Dana Kelly, vice president of professional and institutional development. compliance with the National Association of Administrators of Student Financial Aid.
“It’s not necessarily something that you want to do at all levels in all the schools (where you have applied) because it could be a fair amount of work,” she says. “But once you’ve narrowed your choices down, if it’s a school or two, you’ll want to let them know your situation is different.”
Katie Burns, University Admissions Advisor at IvyWise, is concerned about the impact of income and employment changes related to the pandemic on future student aid programs.
“If parents went back to work (in 2021), had a higher income, or had a more typical income, some students may find their needs-based financial aid programs much smaller (next year) and that may mean tough decisions regarding their tuition payments, ”Burns, a former senior assistant director of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Massachusetts, wrote in an email. “While you can never predict the future, I strongly recommend that students and families plan ahead for what four years of college and financial aid might look like. ”
Individuals or families should not claim any stimulus checks or federal grants related to coronivarus on the form as non-taxable or taxable income. The total amount of funds in an individual’s bank account at the time of completing the form, however, must be reported, according to the US Department of Education.
[Read: How the Coronavirus Can Disrupt Your College Financial Aid.]
More significant changes stemming from the FAFSA simplification law, which was enacted in December 2020, are expected over the next few years. However, there are some differences from the 2022-2023 form that students and families should note.
Selective service and drug conviction issues
Although the FAFSA Simplification Act is not expected to come into full force until the 2024-2025 award year, the US Department of Education has initiated phased implementation. Some of these changes were made to this year’s form.
The requirement for male students to register with the Selective Service to receive federal student aid has been removed, as have the consequences associated with answering “yes” to a question about drugs that occurred while receiving federal student aid. These questions are still on the FAFSA and students must answer them honestly, but colleges are no longer allowed to take the answers into consideration in determining whether a student is eligible for federal financial aid.
“We know that there are a disproportionate number of minorities (impacted by this drug issue) compared to others,” Javice said. “So we think this is a very good first step in terms of equity in terms of financial aid and access to university.”
[READ: Financial Aid Options for Incarcerated Individuals and Their Children.]
For the 2023-2024 form, the two questions will be entirely deleted and students will no longer be able to register for the selective service through the FAFSA.
FAFSA website updates
This year, the FAFSA online application has been redesigned to improve site navigation and user experience.
Before completing the form, applicants now have the option of indicating whether they are students, parents or preparers.
In addition to using the jump logic – which only displays questions that are specific to the claimant – more help texts are available throughout the form, especially when it comes to tax information. For example, screenshots of a tax form are provided to highlight the areas where information should be extracted for each question.
There is also more detail on the size and number of households in the collegiate question, observes Brendan Williams, senior director of external advice at uAspire.
The Student Aid Report, a document summarizing applicant information from the FAFSA form, has also been updated to be a multi-tab web page rather than a page, Williams notes.
“I think for most students and families this version of FAFSA will be easier to complete,” he says. “Because the design is simpler and the help text is more apparent. The emphasis is more on certain areas that are problematic for students.
Are you trying to finance your studies? Get tips and more at the US News Paying for College center.
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What’s new on the FAFSA 2022-2023 originally appeared on usnews.com