Chicago — FAFSA is in for some changes come the 2024 school year.
The new FAFSA no longer asks questions about drug convictions and selective service and will factor in more education-related expenses, according to Federal Student Aid. Students in approved prison education programs are now re-eligible for a Pell Grant. Additionally, federal Pell Grant eligibility will be expanded to students whose schools have closed down or the lost accreditation.
Schools will also be required to transition from the Expected Family Contribution, which started at $0 on the application, to the Student Aid Index (SAI), a student’s eligibility index number starting at negative $1500. The goal is to increase a student’s chances for Pell Grant eligibility.
Drew Woodward, A&M Central Texas coordinator of student financial assistance, told KWKT the changes can encourage more students to enroll in the class.
“The previous application was about 108 questions, I believe. Now, it’s only 36, so it’s not going to be such an intimidating factor with students seeking that financial aid, which sometimes it can make or break a student with the whole anxiety of going back to school,” said Woodward.
The new opening for the FAFSA application will be Dec. 1.
Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter: @noahwritestoo.
Edited by Nykeya Woods.