Free Application for Federal Student Aid opened Friday with some changes

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on Oct. 1, and if you are a college student heading to class next fall, this form should be filled out whether you are asking the feds for money or not.

Many colleges used the form to determine scholarships and other aid, so almost every student who wants some of that money needs to fill it out, and so do their parents in most situations.

The form is a snapshot of a family’s finances that the government uses to determine what your estimated family contribution (EFC) should be to a student’s college education and if you are eligible for aid that you don’t have to pay back or loans that you do.

New for the 2022-2023 form include the following: (Source: Office of the U.S. Dept. of Education)

  • The online FAFSA form will have a visual update and a similar look and feel to the rest of StudentAid.gov.
  • Users will be able to select their specific role—student, parent, or preparer—before they enter the FAFSA form.
  • For students and parents who don’t use the IRS DRT, the Schedule 1 help topics will be updated to include all current exceptions for filing a Schedule 1. “Virtual Currency” will be removed as an exception. Learn how to help students and parents with the Schedule 1 questions.
  • Drug convictions no longer affect federal student aid eligibility. As students complete the FAFSA form, they will be asked whether they had a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while they were receiving federal student aid. If the answer is yes, students will be provided a worksheet. Students should answer the questions correctly; however, the questions won’t impact students’ eligibility.
  • Registration status with Selective Service no longer affects students’ eligibility to receive federal student aid. However, students can still register through the FAFSA form.

The form needs to be filled out yearly until a student graduates.

Right now, student loan interest and payments have been put on hold due to the pandemic until January 2022. That deadline could be pushed back as it has been a few times since the beginning of the pandemic.

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