COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The U.S. Department of Education has released the newly updated simplified free application for federal student aid, commonly known as FAFSA.
The update was released on December 31st of last year after several months of delays. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the update simplified the application process and allows students to qualify for more aid. This is the first time that the FAFSA has been updated since the 1980s.
Colleges and universities encourage students to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible to avoid delays.
Philip Hawkins, the Director of Financial Aid at Columbus State, tells WRBL that institutions have not yet started receiving FAFSA applications that have been submitted. This has caused the processing timeline to be compressed.
“Some of the major differences are going to come in terminology changes in prior farces; the output document and the information that was given was called an expected family contribution. There will also be some terminology changes called contributor in which the student, their parent, or if the student is married, a spouse are now called a contributor on the FAFSA,” said Hawkins.
In addition to the terminology change, FAFSA is requiring students and their families to participate in transmitting federal tax information between the Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service. More information about the FAFSA updates can be found here.