Anyone who has been to college knows the hardships of the FAFSA application. It is the gateway to the scholarships, grants, loans and all other monetary measures necessary to attend college.
Basically The FAFSA holds all of your hopes and dreams hostage behind your computer screen. It is entirely too complicated and people have had thousands of dollars of scholarships and grants withheld because brilliant and capable students can't get past the FAFSA process. One false move, one missed number...one tactless error and you're out on your ass. It'd take a professional accountant to fill out this document correctly.
I remember spending hours on the phone with various government employees, essentially begging them for assistance with this ever important document. Recently I was fucked over because of some technicality pending on my graduation. They basically treated me like human garbage, claiming that my FAFSA was "incomplete" or "in need of reform". I even went so far as to pin the death of the American Dream on student debt.
As a 19 year old kid, I was at the mercy of a document that made little sense to my parents. How the hell could it make sense to me?
The FAFSA is particularly tricky because of the college application timeline. The current laws and regulations regarding federal aid, make it so that students planning to attend college in the fall can't apply for Aid until January of the previous year.
So if you're a late bloomer, or are applying to a college with rolling admission you're pretty much out of luck.
In addition to all of that, there's a hell of a lot of wait time...like 6 to 8 weeks. So if you get accepted into college a month before it starts, and apply for FAFSA immediately, you won't get your aid until November and then how the hell are you supposed to live?
My aid paid for rent, living expenses, books and everything else because I was totally covered due to my parent's financials. And when that aid was late, I was on my ass.
But why would the government make it so hard to get the necessary aid to attend school? When everyone's struggling to get an education,
Doesn't make sense right?
Someone finally listened and Through many complaints, and I'm talking millions of complaints, the federal government has made some changes to it's hell of a document, the Federal Application for Student Aid. Of course, it's after I graduated, but at least younger generations will be spared from it's wrath.
So, instead of the whole "filing when the government is ready" thing, you can file the FAFSA as early as October using data from tax returns already filed, unless your dad like won the lottery or something, there shouldn't be any huge changes.
Also, you will be able to fill out the document without any affiliation to any college, this way you will know your financial status BEFORE applying to schools, that way you can apply to schools that qualify in your aid bracket.
Logic makes a lot of sense. Thank you federal government. I'm pleased that you came around.
Eventually, the application will go away entirely and schools will have automatic viewing of tax returns and other financial data capable of determining aid. In a perfect world...amirite?
To all the youngin's going to college in 2017, enjoy your newly reformed FAFSA...cause I sure didn't have the luxury!
I'm not bitter, I swear.