FAFSA Changes to Simplify Financial-Aid Process for NC Students
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid next year are expected to simplify the process and shorten the amount of time it takes to complete the form, according to financial-aid experts in North Carolina.
Research from the National Center for Education Statistics shows 88% of high school seniors who filed out the form in 2012 attended college within the next few years, compared to 49% who did not.
Marissa Jones, assistant director of financial Aid at William Peace University, said the Department of Education is also removing questions related to military Selective Service and drug convictions.
"The important thing for students to keep in mind is when they're asked those questions, they would need to answer them, just because the application won't be submitted without it," Jones pointed out. "But the Department of Education removed those rules being a requirement."
One-third of North Carolina undergraduates receive federal student loans, according to the Education Data Initiative. The state spends around $390 million each year on financial aid. To begin the process or learn more, visit the website studentaid.gov.
Kathryn Marker, director of grants, training, and outreach for the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, explained next year's form will be pared down significantly.
"The number of questions is going to be reduced from 108 to about 36," Marker noted. "More of the questions will be aligned with federal income-tax returns, which simplifies the data that families and students have to apply."
Jones emphasized the form is the first step toward unlocking financial aid.
"It takes about half an hour, if you have all your documents in front of you," Jones explained. "That seems like a fair deal to me, to spend half an hour on an application and potentially get a chunk of money to help pay for college."
According to the National College Attainment Network, nearly $4 billion in Pell Grants -- distributed to low-income students who have completed the form -- went unclaimed in 2021.
get more stories like this via email
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a plan extending a natural-gas pipeline in Virginia. The Virginia Reliability Plan and Transcot's …
Today is Giving Tuesday, a day when millions of Americans are expected to make charitable donations. But it can also be a field day for scammers…
Health and Wellness
Starting Friday, North Carolinians will have greater access to health care as the long-awaited Medicaid expansion is launched. Medicaid will …
A new project in Southern Arizona aims to support local reporting and enable greater access to local news and information. Earlier this month…
As the weather turns colder, two groups of people in one North Dakota city that are generations apart appear to be in good shape to navigate housing …
Researchers are out with new findings they say show that death rates linked to air pollution from coal plants are underestimated. A Wisconsin …
Clean-energy companies and supporters are calling on federal officials to prioritize the development of charging infrastructure for EV powered medium …
Missouri's duck-hunting season runs through January, and many enthusiasts are concerned about how plentiful their future quarry will be because of a …