Good news: College financial aid form gets easier
Sometimes there is good news about the process of getting educated.
As of this month, according to a Post story by my colleague Nick Anderson, it is going to be easier to fill out the form required to obtain financial aid for college.
The form is called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as FAFSA, and it is used by federal and state governments as well as colleges to grant financial aid.
That aid can come in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study and federal student loans--and about 20 million of the forms are filed each year. The federal government alone is expected to award almost $170 billion in student aid based on FAFSA forms for the 2010-11 school year, according to Sallie Mae.
But the application has long been a bear to fill out, one that has been so intimidating that an estimated hundreds of thousands of families fail to complete it and miss out on assistance they might receive.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan had promised changes last year and today he delivered, announcing the streamlined form at a D.C. public school.
Families may fill out a paper FAFSA form but are being urged to apply online because there are a number of advantages. Questions that become unnecessary based on previous answers are automatically suppressed, and the FAFSA website is now much easier to navigate than it used to be.
Take a look and see for yourself.
| January 5, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories: College Admissions, College Costs, Education Secretary Duncan, Higher Education | Tags: college costs, financial aid
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