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FAFSA Simplification Act Coming in 2022

The COVID-19 relief legislation includes the FAFSA Simplification Act. There will be some fundamental changes to the way federal financial aid, and institutional financial aid at most colleges, is determined. Here is a quick rundown of some of the most significant features.

  • Changes will be effective starting July 1, 2023 for the 2023-2024 school year. The first redesigned FAFSA form will be available for high school seniors on October 1, 2022 for those students currently in 10th grade.
  • The number of questions will be reduced from 108 to 36.
  • The term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be scrapped. It will be replaced by Student Aid Index (SAI). This is a positive change since many parents are currently misled into thinking their EFC is what they will have to pay, when often it is significantly less.
  • If a dependent student’s parents are divorced or separated and not remarried, the parent who provides more financial support to the student will be responsible for completing the FAFSA. “The parent you lived with more during the past 12 months” will be scrapped as the determining factor for which parent should complete the FAFSA. This closes an enormous loophole divorced or separated parents were able to exploit.
  • Colleges will be required to disclose all elements of the cost of attendance on their website whenever it lists tuition and fees. This is a very positive change as some colleges continue to bury their total cost.
  • Income Protection Allowance will be increased, allowing a greater amount of income to be sheltered from the financial aid formula.
  • Asset Protection Allowance, which has steadily declined over the past decade, will remain unchanged and will probably disappear completely in a few years.
  • The FAFSA will no longer divide the family assessment by the number of family members in college. This change will significantly reduce the amount of financial aid available for multiple family members enrolled at the same time, a harsh and regressive change from the current formula.
  • The FAFSA will include a question about the applicant’s race or ethnicity.
  • Charging a fee to complete the FAFSA will be prohibited.
  • Male applicants will no longer be required to have registered with Selective Service.
  • Applicants convicted of the sale or possession of a controlled substance will no longer be ineligible for federal student aid.
  • Several changes to Professional Judgment and special circumstances, including prohibiting financial aid administrators from denying all financial aid appeals.
Posted in College Admissions, Financial Aid
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Kirsten Frosh
Kirsten works with each student providing guidance and individual attention and personally overseeing application content.
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Kirsten was fantastic to work with through every step of the daunting task of searching for a college for our son. Her combination of expertise, positivity, and integrity was exactly what was needed. My son felt very comfortable working with her, and he believed that she genuinely cared about what he wanted in a college and what his goals were for the future. She seemed to work tirelessly to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information necessary to navigate the labyrinth of the college application process. Even after applications were finished and acceptances and decision were made, she continued to provide useful information and insight. This has been especially valuable while dealing with the uncertainty during the Coronavirus pandemic. We wouldn't hesitate to work with her again, and we would whole-heartedly recommend her to anyone looking for a thorough, honest, and supportive college specialist. We can't imagine having done this without her!

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