The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

FAFSA 2024-2025

Stay tuned for new FAFSA changes

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be redesigned for the 2024-2025 school year and is set to launch by December 31, leaving students in a state of anxiety.

This year, the FAFSA Simplification Act is welcoming changes to the FAFSA. The form, which usually opens on October 1st, has been delayed due to restructuring and reductions in the student intake information, though the specifications are somewhat vague.

“The fact that they have not released an exact date is making me nervous because I just want to get all of my college documents done. FAFSA is the last one,” said Fiona Walsh ‘24. 

According to the Office of Federal Student Aid, these are 4 main modifications to the form:

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  • Replacing the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). 
  • Both the EFC and SAI are formulas that take into account various aspects of a family’s income, expenses, and assets. However, unlike EFC, SAI does not consider the number of family members in college, will allow a minimum SAI eligibility of – 1500, and determine separate eligibility requirements for Federal Pell Grants. 
  • Family Definitions in FAFSA Formulas 
  • Changes in how a student’s household size aligns more with income.
  • Expanding Access to Federal Pell Grants 
  • 610,000 students from low-income families will be eligible for Pell Grants due to changes in student aid calculations based on the link between family size and federal poverty levels. 
  • Incarcerated students will be able to apply for Pell Grants.
  • Streamlining the FAFSA Form
  • When possible, the law mandates that data used by FAFSA be received directly from the IRS.
  • Removes questions about Selective Service and drug convictions.
  • Adds questions about a student’s race, ethnicity, and sex, but will not affect aid eligibility.

 

FAFSA and other federal aid applications like the CSS Profile are confusingly worded are confusing in wording, and many students fear the changes to FAFSA will affect their aid eligibility.

“FAFSA was already stressful. I’m scared that these changes will result in me getting less money because I either did not understand how to fill it out or the formula will not work in my favor,” said Kaitlin Cywinski ‘24. 

Some students fear the form will launch around peak holiday times, preventing them from taking advantage of that “first come first serve” strategy. 

“For all we know the form can launch on December 31, aka New Year’s,” said Walsh. I won’t even be in the country so it’ll be hard for me to fill the form out, it all just seems inconvenient.”

Other students feel the delay was beneficial.

“It does suck that we don’t know what day it’ll launch, but I’m also glad that I did not have to worry about it when I was filling out early decision and early action deadlines,” said Monse Rodriguez ‘24. “I was able to solely focus on polishing those applications.”

Nonetheless, students at Jones are anxious for the form to be released, as it is one of the last components of their college application process. 

“We’re all on high alert and we just have to hope for the best,” said Cywinski.

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Samantha Gamero ‘24, Journalism III

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