This is like Russian roulette with crippling student loans! That sounds fun, right…. Right?!
Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced that they were making it easier to apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (aka FAFSA). In the past students would have to file for taxes, before they could be eligible for financial aid. Considering April 15th is the tax filing deadline, February is the latest deadline to turn in college applications, and May is when colleges expect students to make their decision on what school they’ll be attending, families and students filling out their FAFSA forms were in a real rush to get through the process.
With the new rules, in the beginning of fall 2016, students and families can now fill out FAFSA forms using their tax filings from two years back. While it’s easy to dismiss such a small bureaucratic change, many student advocates are calling this a game changer. Some even go as far as to believe that this could potentially get more students to think about college, where they wouldn’t have otherwise!
Let us explain.
Say if you’re an 18-year-old kid that can apply to a pretty selective school. Congrats! But the problem, your family can’t easily afford college. It’s all good though, you can just apply for financial aid! Great so when are FAFSA forms available?
Huh, January 1st…
Hmm, that provides a bit of a problem because most selective schools want applications to be turned in by December 31st and at latest usually around February. So even though you’re applying to these expensive schools, you really don’t know how much you’re qualified to get in federal aid, because you can’t fill out the FAFSA form until you know your family’s tax information, which you won’t know till March!!
It’s kind of like jumping off a REALLY high diving board without knowing how deep the water really goes. Sure, you could be fine, but it’s one of those things that you should REALLY FUCKING KNOW BEFORE JUMPING OFF!!!
But before this recent rule change, students were doing just that; diving into student loan debt without looking. We like to think that major changes to the law are the only instances where lives are affected, but we forget sometimes even the smallest bureaucratic rule changes can make all the difference.
(Photo Credits: Google Images)