Hello and welcome back to the blog! We serve our WNY community with multiple college planning strategies, including helping with the treacherous FAFSA process. We have seen how families struggle to complete the forms and we offer a service to ensure all your college forms are properly filled out, and on time to ensure you the best financial aid possible.
The goal of the redesign is to simplify how students, parents and other educational stakeholders use the FAFSA form, starting this year. Below we will highlight the series of resources and tools that will be made available leading up to the launch of the full scale 2024-25 revamp. The new FAFSA will officially go into effect in December of 2023. The Dept. of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid
(FSA) recently published a roadmap that demonstrates resources that will be available as we inch closer to the December date.
Let’s take a look at how the new FAFSA will help 3 specific groups, Students, Colleges, and Counselors with better understanding of the changes. You can see the full “roadmap” provided by the FSA here.
How FSA will Help Students (and parents!)
Sometime soon, you’ll begin to see a campaign known as the “Better FAFSA Better Future” which will aim to spread awareness of the changes. The website used for submitting these forms, studentaid.gov, will also see updates, including revised FAFSA articles and tools such as the “Federal Student Aid Estimator.” The FSA will also conduct outreach and provide tutorials about obtaining a “FSA ID.” Also included in future implementations will be expanding the resources to be translated in the 11 most-common languages spoken in the U.S., in an effort to make it easier for non-English speakers and English-as-a-second-language citizens.
How FSA will Help Colleges
As we get closer to the December launch of the new FAFSA, the FSA will provide resources and issue policy guidance about expanded Federal Pell Grant Eligibility, FAFSA data use, cybersecurity, school reporting requirements, the transition from Expected Family Contribution to the Student Aid Index and more. A new updated FAFSA handbook will be released for the 2024-25 year. A new FAFSA Simplification Information page on the FSA Partner Connect Knowledge Center website, and also provide summer trainings for financial aid professionals.
How FSA will help Counselors and Other College Access Professionals
By providing a new communication campaign and information hub, counselors and CAPs can find a useful Financial Aid Toolkit website to better understand and communicate changes to students and their families. A new Federal Student Aid Estimator, a FAFSA preview website, and tutorial videos will be issued to also help guide this new process. The FSA will also provide training sessions specifically for college access professionals and conduct federal financial aid virtual boot camps to help get everyone on the same page.
The revamped FAFSA form will surely aim to help students and families be able to fill out the forms more easily, but it remains to be seen how well this “roadmap” will work out. It can be assumed that there will be confusion and orientation in the initial phases, but its good to know there is work being done to help make the process easier for all ends of the FAFSA spectrum. When it’s time for your kid to fill out financial aid forms, know you have a local, WNY resource right here in your backyard to help you navigate the process! Remember to follow us on Facebook or Instagram to stay up to date with all our college planning content!