Changes to FAFSA application process take effect

The+guidelines+for+the+Federal+Application+For+Student+Aid+%28FAFSA%29+have+recently+changed.+The+new+FAFSA+process%2C+which+starts+on+Oct.+1%2C+will+allow+students+to+fill+out+and+submit+the+FAFSA+for+the+2017-18+school+year+using+previously+submitted+tax+information%2C+meaning+students+will+use+tax+information+from+2015+to+submit+the+FAFSA+for+the+2017-18+school+year.%C2%A0

The guidelines for the Federal Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) have recently changed. The new FAFSA process, which starts on Oct. 1, will allow students to fill out and submit the FAFSA for the 2017-18 school year using previously submitted tax information, meaning students will use tax information from 2015 to submit the FAFSA for the 2017-18 school year. 

Quentin Sargent

President Barack Obama has announced extraordinary changes for the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process that will impact the 90 percent of Missouri Southern students who fill out FAFSA for scholarships, grants, or Federal Student Loans. 

The financial aid office has just wrapped up the most hectic season in the financial aid year where students have just finished submitting FAFSAs and have already received their fall financial aid disbursements; however, the FAFSA process is changing. Many students on campus seem to be confused about the new FAFSA process, saying,” I just completed the FAFSA and its already time to submit next year’s.” 

The financial aid process previously started in January when students had to begin filling out the FAFSA, which is what qualifies students for federal funding for their education. The previous process required students to use the most recent tax information, which isn’t due until April 15. If you submit a tax extension, those taxes aren’t due until Oct. 15. This is a hardship for many students who have to wait for their parents’ tax information to come back from the IRS. 

The new FAFSA process, which starts on Oct. 1, will allow students to fill out and submit the FAFSA for the 2017-18 school year using previously submitted tax information, meaning students will use tax information from 2015 to submit the FAFSA for the 2017-18 school year. This also means the priority deadline will now be Feb. 1 rather than April 1, which qualifies students for state grants. The financial aid administration believes the new FAFSA process will be less stressful for students. 

“The new FAFSA process will be easier and faster if students take advantage of the new deadlines,” said administrative assistant Mayra Gonzalez.

With the new process, students will be able to obtain verification documents, which usually have to be signed by a parent or guardian before winter break. Under the new timeline, students should have no problem getting those documents into the financial aid office before the fall semester so they do not have to worry about the drop date when classes start. This also means that  Foundation Scholarship applications, which qualify students for any of approximately 300 scholarships, will now be available to complete on Oct. 1 through the priority deadline of Feb. 1.

“Now is the best time to come into the financial aid office and ask for assistance because,  although there is still work going on behind the scenes, traffic at the front desk has slowed down and students can get the help they need completing the financial aid process,” said Becca Diskin, director of financial aid.