The U.S. Department of Education announced recently that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be shorter in length and more user friendly. The government uses this application to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid, as well as, most colleges use it to gauge a student’s financial needs.
The Department of Education has promised to reduce the number of questions by 25% and to reduce the online screens from 30 to 10. The changes to the form include eliminating questions that don’t apply to a specific student, providing quicker estimates and streamlining information from the IRS. Some of the changes are currently in place with the rest to follow over the next few months.
Beginning in January, students will have easier access to income information from the IRS when applying on-line (which 98% of students do) for the spring semester. The goal is for tax return information to be downloaded from the IRS to the FAFSA form, which will save time and increase accuracy.