If you have a student who will be enrolled in college for the 2023–24 school year, you might have highlighted October 1 on your calendar. This is the date the U.S. Department of Education makes the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) available for the upcoming school year. The form is required for students to be considered for most need-based financial aid. We suggest completing the form even if the application shows you do not qualify for need-based aid. Many colleges use the FAFSA to collect information for merit grants and scholarships, which can vary greatly from school to school. If you don’t want to leave any money on the table, we suggest you take the time to complete one every October. Some schools even increase merit aid just because a student filled out the FAFSA! The sooner you get it done, the better. Many experts suggest completing the form by November 1 to avoid missing early award deadlines.
Some schools ask you to complete the CSS Profile as well. The CSS Profile is an online application operated by the College Board and is currently used by 240 institutions and scholarship programs to award non-federal institutional aid. This article focuses on changes to the FAFSA.
The FAFSA Simplification Act (FSA) was presented to Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act and was signed into law in December 2020. Changes resulting from this act are coming to the FAFSA in phases. A few changes will be implemented this fall for 2023–24 school year packages. More significant changes will appear in the fall of 2023 to impact the 2024–25 school year.
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We anticipate the timeline to phase in all the changes included in the FSA will shift over the coming months. Please feel free to reach out to your advisor at Bragg if you have questions. We are happy to help and point you in the right direction if additional resources are needed.
This information is believed to be accurate but should not be used as specific investment or tax advice. You should always consult your tax professional or other advisors before acting on the ideas presented here.