THE APPLICATION WILL BE TRANSLATED INTO MORE LANGUAGES
The current FAFSA is in only English and Spanish. FAFSA simplification aims to make the application easier for more students and their parents who don’t speak those languages.
The new form will be available in at least 11 languages.
IT WILL BE CLEARER IF YOU NEED TO INCLUDE ASSETS Currently, aid applicants have to include their own or their parents’ assets when applying for federal student aid to provide a full picture of their financial situation. Otherwise, applicants must answer a series of questions about taxable income to apply without consideration of assets (called the Simplified Needs Test). The act exempts applicants from having to disclose assets if they meet any of the following requirements (tax information will be imported to the application directly from the IRS): • They are not required to file taxes because their income falls below the filing threshold. • They have an SAI between negative $1,500 and $0 – automatically qualifying for the maximum Pell Grant award. • They (for independent students) or their parents (for dependent students) have an adjusted gross income of less than $60,000 (and do not file a tax return with lettered schedules A-H or file a Schedule C with net business income over $10,000 loss or gain). • They received a means-tested benefit, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
MORE FACTORS ADDED TO COST OF ATTENDANCE
The amount of financial aid you’re eligible for is calculated by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution (soon to be Student Aid Index) from the school’s cost of attendance.
The FAFSA simplification effort adjusts cost of attendance to include more factors and rules:
• Colleges must have standard allowances for living expenses whether students live on or off campus or have a meal plan. • The cost of obtaining a professional license, certification or other professional credential is no longer limited to a one-time allowance. • Private student loans are no longer included in the allowance for loan fees (however, private loans often don’t charge fees as federal loans do).
STUDENT AID INDEX REPLACES THE EFC
The Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, is being replaced by the Student Aid Index, or SAI.
The SAI, like the EFC, is used to calculate need-based financial aid. Your need will be calculated as cost of attendance minus your SAI.
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