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New FAFSA Available Periodically

Changes were made to make form simpler to complete
Yaritzza Montenegro
After postponing the form for three months, the FAFSA has now become available during periods of time as they monitor site performance. Changes have been made to allow its users to seamlessly apply financial aid for higher education. “I’ve known about FAFSA since last year because my sister was applying to college,” senior Shantell Hunt said. “Honestly, I thought the application was weird because your parents had to set up their own account. When my sister did hers last year, she had to ask my dad a lot of questions about his finances but this year there weren’t too many questions about it.”

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has undergone renovations in accordance to the FAFSA Simplification Act to make the filing process easier for its users. The form was postponed until Dec. 30, contrary to its regular outset on Oct. 1.

I have not seen the new form yet. I think once the FAFSA form remains open and the government works out all the little issues, it will be a great change,” counselor Elizabeth Hare said. “I have heard from students that the new form takes roughly an hour to complete. This is much less time than the old form. I also think removing the questions regarding taxes makes it less confusing for families.”  

The form is only available for periods of time as the company “monitors site performance” and provides users with a “better experience”.

“I don’t feel too positive or too happy about them taking forever to open, but other than that, I think it’s good but they tried to make it simpler for us,” senior Lezli Magana Contreras said. “I think that is going to cause more people to do it just because it’s not going to be as time-consuming and as complicated that many people like myself that haven’t done it before or don’t have family that’s done it before either so it’s like a first, new experience and they made it pretty simple.”

The FAFSA is linked to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), allowing the student and parent’s information to directly transfer into the form.

I know this year has been frustrating as they keep opening and closing the form, however, there is always more money to give at the beginning,” Hare said. “Sometimes there are problems with the FAFSA and they take time to resolve.  If you fill it out too late, you might run out of time to resolve these issues. It is also good for your mental health as it feels good getting things done.”

Those who fill out the form will receive an email with their Pell Grant estimate, showing how much money they are expected to be given; this money does not have to be repaid. 

“It was actually really easy because I thought that I would have to fill out tax information for my parents, but we [students] don’t do that apparently, you just send an invite to them [parents],” senior Collin Chamberlain said. “They just asked some basic questions like ‘What your home life is like’ or if your parents are willing to provide information. It was pretty simple. It took less than an hour.”

To be considered for the Nevada Promise Scholarship, FAFSA should be completed by March 1, 2024. The Silver State Opportunity Grant also requires this form and it should be filled out as soon as possible.

“The earlier students get their applications submitted, the sooner they can hear back from the colleges about their financial aid, which in turn will help them make a decision,” counselor Maysie Mendiola said. “Changes are always difficult so with the updates, the glitches and the delays are causing major concerns for students who need to get their FAFSA submitted to the colleges.”

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