3 Reasons Students Don’t Fill Out the FAFSA (On Time)
The landscape of College Financial Aid is certainly at a tectonic time right now, as student loan borrowers yearn for freedom from debt and the FAFSA Simplification Act rears closer by the day. We have talked a lot about how FAFSA is changing here on the blog, and Jeff Boron will continue to keep you up to speed on the Student Loan Forgiveness saga on WBEN930. As College Planning Specialists here in WNY, we are here to help parents and families KNOW what’s going on with college planning. It isn’t easy to keep up, and parents and future students are often left in the dark about what’s best for their particular families.
Today on the blog we wanted to highlight some recent notes and news about the first month of FAFSA, and demonstrate why people unfortunately misconstrue what FAFSA is really all about.
Let’s take a look at WHY FAFSA is Changing in the first place.
The public thinks it’s only for low-income students
The public thinks that you can wait until spring to complete the forms
The public thinks that college is too expensive.
These are 3 big reasons to think about FAFSA, student loans, financial aid, and the entire process as nothing but a big headache, but this is why the federal government is implementing significant changes to the forms.
FAFSA is not only for low-income students
Despite the common fallacy that filling out a FAFSA form is only for students who may not come from a wealthy family, this is not true. Everyone needs to fill out a FAFSA who attends college, and the form certainly impacts your final bill, but the earlier you fill it out the better chance you have at some potential scholarship or grant money from the college you plan to attend.
You CAN Wait, but Do it NOW
The longer you wait to fill out your financial aid forms, the less likely you are to gain access to money that you WON’T have to pay back. There have been many reports over the last few years that demonstrate that many kids are just NOT filling out the FAFSA, and leaving significant amounts of money on the table. Some financial aid is based on a first-come-first-serve basis.
College IS Expensive, but You Can Save by Applying Early
Along with the misconception that the FAFSA does not apply to families who think they “earn too much” to qualify for financial aid, people just seem to think that that is the only thing that FAFSA financial aid is based on. There are other factors that determine your financial aid, and many of those factors are changing in the future 2023-24 FAFSA. Many factors, not just income, help to determine how much aid students receive. These include but are not limited to, the total number of people in the household and the number of children in college, as well as other financial commitments such as a home equity loan or child support payments.
The National Association for Financial Aid Administrators recently created a collection of Case Studies that Help to demonstrate how some of the new changes to FAFSA will take effect NEXT year.
Here are some more tools from NASFAA https://www.nasfaa.org/Student_Financial_Aid_Research_Project_Highlights
Remember, we can help you with FAFSA, TAP, and CSS profile forms to help you get this done quickly and easily. We are here for WNY families, whenever you have a question or concern about college planning. For more information just give us a call or reach out via our contact form to speak with a WNY college planning specialist today! Remember to follow us on Facebook and Linkedin for more updates!