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Improving Access to Federal Student Aid

Averyll Hoch | Writer




As many students rushed to fill out their FAFSA applications for higher education, an issue arose; the form for determining student aid for the school year was delayed by three months.


Without access to information about possible Financial Aid, some students may struggle to decide on their academic institution. Financial aid makes it possible for many students to pursue higher education. Some students may base their entire academic future on whether or not they will be receiving financial aid. 


The new changes to the process aren’t actually that new, rather the policies being implemented are a result of the 2019 FUTURES Act. The FUTURES Act increases the authorization of Pell Grants and requires the Education Department to work with the Internal Revenue Service to work together to calculate student loan repayment and financial aid. 


Originally scheduled to open on October 1, the FAFSA was delayed to reorganize the current system. When asked why the delays occurred, Associate Director of the Financial Aid department at LCCC, Douglas Vore stated that the forms were postponed due to a lack of resource allocation. This lack of adequate resource allocation essentially means that the student aid program did not plan enough to manage issues that may occur in the implementation process. 


The new form could change a lot for students. Vore explains, “Based on the formulas they are using, more students will be eligible for financial aid funding.” The changes allow students to assess schools based on their qualities rather than financial accessibility. 


Some students view the newly applied FAFSA system as being fairly easy to navigate and use. Joseph Oswald, a sophomore at LCCC and previous FAFSA applicant stated, “I felt it was pretty easy and didn't feel too difficult.” 


The contributing factors that make the form more user-friendly are best explained by Vore, stating the biggest changes were “the reduction in the number of questions you had to answer and then the direct transfer of tax information.”


A reduction in questions and direct tax information transfer is helping students stress less and save time.


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