As we ring in the new year, CV is very excited about the news coming from Capitol Hill regarding the 2022-2023 cycle of the Free Application for Student Aid or FAFSA. The Consolidated Appropriations Act has provided changes to FAFSA that will come into effect July 1st, 2023.
Below are a few amendments to current FAFSA:
The Expected Family Contributions (EFC) will be changed to the Student Aid Index (SAI). The EFC is a confusing term used to determine eligibility for financial aid. Although the calculation of the EFC (soon to be SAI) will not change, the new language accurately depicts how colleges provide students with Financial aid.
The Pell grant will be simplified and allow for more families to be pell eligible, the Pell will also be increased by $150.
The FAFSA will be much shorter and user friendly. Higher Education advocates, and policy makers have continued to support the simplification of the FAFSA form which can be very confusing and daunting, especially to first-generation, low-income students and their families. FAFSA questions will go from 100 questions to approximately 36 questions.
More students will be able to have their aid eligibility calculated without consideration of their assets, including those who don’t file income-tax returns.
These changes are important in breaking barriers to higher education for low-income, first-generation students and families. Often, students and families view the FAFSA as a long and confusing application, asking for too much personal financial information. In the past, this has deterred students from filing out their FAFSA at all or leaving their FAFSA incomplete. These new changes transform the FAFSA from a daunting application with confusing language to a more family-friendly one. While a small step, we believe that this is an important step in making access to higher education equitable for all communities.