Changes are Coming to the FAFSA

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It is back-to-school time for everyone, and if you have a teenager, it means worrying about them driving to school, staying on the honor roll, and figuring out how they will find the time to get all their homework done. If you have a junior or senior in high school, you are also probably worried about financial aid for college.

It is back-to-school time for everyone, and if you have a teenager, it means worrying about them driving to school, staying on the honor roll, and figuring out how they will find the time to get all their homework done. If you have a junior or senior in high school, you are also probably worried about financial aid for college.

In order to apply for any financial aid, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form can be found at www.studentaid.gov. Once you have completed this form, you can then calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with each college that your son or daughter is interested in attending.

The thought of filling out government forms and applying for financial aid is scary for just about anyone, but I am here to tell you, that it is not too bad. Amazingly, they are even trying to make it easier for you. Here are some recent changes to the FAFSA and when they will take effect.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is actually changing its name to the Student Aid Index. The FAFSA is condensing its number of questions from 99 to 36. Your taxed and untaxed income will automatically transfer from your tax return at the IRS rather than you manually inputting it on the form.

Divorced Parents: the rule used to be whichever parent had more than 50% custody was required to fill out the FAFSA. When this change takes place, it will now be whichever parent provides the most financial support or has the largest Adjusted Gross Income.

The discount for having multiple children in college at the same time is going away. These changes were announced by the Department of Education and should go into effect for the 2023-2024 school year. However, with Covid causing all kinds of delays and disruptions, they recently announced that these changes will apply in the 2024-2025 school year.

If you have a child in high school right now and would like to learn more about financial aid and to choose a good college, please give us a call at ABLE Financial Group – 480.258.6104

Larry Van Quathem, CFP®
Senior Financial Advisor

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