CULLOWHEE – In November, the U.S. Department of Education announced the timeline for rollout of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid form and provided dates and timelines for schools as to when to expect applicant information.
The new FAFSA rollout comes as a result of the FAFSA Simplification Act, which implemented a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. The law will also affect every state that uses FAFSA data to award state grant aid and every school that participates in the federal student aid programs.
FAFSA for 2024-25 will be available for students to complete by Dec. 31. While the actual go live date is not specified, students should not expect to be able to complete a FAFSA until that date.
“We strongly encourage every student to complete the new redesigned 2024-2025 FAFSA, even if a student has completed the FAFSA in the past and did not qualify,” said Trina Orr, director of the Office of Financial Aid at WCU. “While the 2024-2025 FAFSA does not account for multiple family members in college, the new FAFSA does bring expanded aid eligibility, fewer questions, and direct IRS data exchange.”
According to the announcement, the new FAFSA will make it easier than ever for students to get financial aid for college and help 610,000 more students from low-income backgrounds receive Pell Grants. The new FAFSA form will also significantly improve, streamline and redesign how students and their families use the form. For the first time, applicants will be able to securely transfer their federal tax information necessary for the eligibility calculation, directly from the IRS.
Schools will begin receiving aid eligibility information, including Institutional Student Information Records, by the end of Jan. 2024, with information on paper forms to follow.
WCU will be hosting a FAFSA Day on Jan. 27, 2024, from 9 a.m. to noon in the WCU Financial Aid Office, located in room 105 of the Cordelia Camp Building.
“All students are welcome to come and let us help them complete their 2024-2025 FAFSA,” Orr said.