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New Financial Aid Rules & SAT date Add STRESS to the Application Season

By on Feb 14, 2017 in Newest Article, Uncategorized - ( College Prep Answer) |

New Financial Aid Rules & SAT date are Adding Stress to the already Stressful Application Season The Class of 2017 was the first to experience the new FAFSA schedule, with the federal financial aid application being available for the first time on October 1st rather than on January 1st. This change was touted to be beneficial to both families and the financial aid offices.  Another change was the use of the prior-prior-year’s (PPY) income information.  This alleviated the difficulties which arose when the IRS couldn’t process returns fast enough to get the information to the FAFSA processor and, in turn, to the financial aid offices, to ensure that financial aid awards would not need to be adjusted once the information was available.  By using 2015 tax return information in October, 2016, the IRS had sufficient time to process those returns. Because of those changes, financial aid awards were expected to be sent out to applicants much earlier, allowing families more time to determine how to take care of their portion of the bill.  Financial aid officers had hoped to have more time to counsel parents and students, helping them find a satisfactory solution.  However, as of mid-February, students are not reporting receiving their awards yet.  Most are still awaiting the news. Hopefully this is due to the adjustments needed in the financial aid offices and earlier awards will be forthcoming in subsequent years.  After all, many colleges and universities have long set their next school year’s tuition rates in January.  That process will need to shift to September or earlier in order to enable the financial aid office to create award letters as early as November.  Down the hall, admissions offices are already preparing longer marketing campaigns to entice admitted students to commit to their schools.  Families are often surprised to see the admissions letter contain information regarding submitting a deposit to commit to the school since the financial aid award hasn’t yet been received.  But this is standard practice.  Remember, colleges are businesses trying to attract customers/students.  Now that the FAFSA can be filed any time after October 1, this year’s seniors found themselves extra busy during the early months of the application season.  Since many schools with early action and/or early decision admissions programs required the FAFSA to be filed by November...

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