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  • Writer's pictureJeff Boron

New Spending Bill Includes Improvements to FAFSA Simplification Act

In March of this year, an omnibus spending package was unveiled by congress that includes several changes to the FAFSA Simplification Act, which passed as part of last year's bill in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). So what does this all mean for students and families of WNY? Let's break down some of what we know so far about updates to FAFSA changes.

Effective Date Pushed Back

Last year the Department of Education indicated that the sweeping changes to FAFSA and Federal Methodology formula could not be implemented in such a short time frame. This bill amends the time frame in legislation to allow an additional year for implementing the full stock of changes to FAFSA. This effective date is pushed back from July 1, 2023, to July 1, 2024.

Some Changes Will Implement for 23-24

There were provisions that were already slated for early implementation. This includes eligibility restoration for students who fail to register with the Selective Service System. This goes the same for the restoration of Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated students slated for the 23-24 award year, although the Dept. of Education must still issue final regulations by Nov. 1, 2022, for those to become effective on July 1, 2023.

108 Questions to 36

One thing that will go into effect at some point is the form simplification. The old FAFSA form required 108 questions to fill in/answer, whereas the future FAFSA form will only have 36. This is helpful for students who are forced to go through this setup process on their own.

Cost of Attendance Components

With the overall implementation date pushed to 2024, Congress specifies some provisions that the Dept. of Education may, but is not required to, adopt on time in 2023. This includes changes to professional judgment, including a prohibition on institutions having a policy of not performing a professional judgment at all, provisional independent student status, and changes to the determination process for unaccompanied homeless youth.

Despite the fact that FAFSA is being "simplified," it doesn't mean the process is getting any easier. As soon as possible, parents should be having the "College Money Talk" with their students to better understand how the college bill will be paid. As a local WNY organization we can help you complete all your FAFSA forms to ensure you get all the appropriate funds alotted. If you have a question about FAFSA, please don't hesitate to reach out on our contact page or give us a call to talk to Certified College Planner Jeff Boron!


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