Thanks to a new streamlined form, applying for federal college aid is easier than ever.
With 22 fewer questions and 17 less web screens, the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid is more concise and user-friendly than in previous years. The updated form, released last week by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, applies to the 2010-2011 school year.
United States Student Association President Gregory Cendana said in a press release that with this change, the Obama administration demonstrated dedication to making financial aid reform a top priority.
“The revised FAFSA is a great step forward in meeting President Obama’s goal for having the United States lead the world in college graduation by 2010,” Cendana said.
USSA Communications Director Jake Stillwell said the new format utilizes “skip logic” by automatically adjusting the online questions presented to an applicant based upon individual needs.
“Essentially, all unnecessary questions are eliminated based on an individual’s financial situation,” Stillwell said.
According to Stillwell, the simplified format will prompt more students to apply for federal aid.
“The previous FAFSA was a deterrent for many students because of its overwhelming format and complex questions,” he said. “By individualizing and simplifying the form, more students will certainly apply for the financial aid they are eligible to receive.”
Moreover, Kaylee Rinehart, a fourth-year sociology and feminist studies major, said that after years of filling out the lengthy FAFSA form in its original version, she’s ready for something new.
“The old FAFSA form was so time-consuming,” Rinehart said. “The new form will make it a lot easier for first-time students applying for federal aid. The less paperwork, the better.”