Changes Coming to FAFSA


Modification and changes are coming to the 2022-2023 FAFSA, short for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which gives students financial aid access. The add-ons and changes by the U.S. Department of Education will gradually begin to appear over the next few years.

On Oct. 1, the online FAFSA application for the 2022-2023 school year became available for students to fill out. Students and families will notice that the new application for the upcoming year will include most of the same questions as last year, with three changes implemented for the 2022-2023 school year.

“It was kind of stressful to me,” stated Celena Huran, a freshman at Mercy College, when asked about how her process during the FAFSA application went who added that she did not get any help to do it.  “I had to do it all by myself.”

The FAFSA Simplication Act was passed on Dec. 27, 2020. A part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 included more financial aid relief, replacing the EFC, short for Expected Family Contribution, with SAI, short for Student Aid Index. The act will be expanding its access and eligibility to federal aid to more students on the national poverty line. Federal Pell Grants will be extended to incarcerated students, and lifetime eligibility of Federal Pell Grants to students whose school may have closed or were misled by their school with financial information.

The removal of negative consequences of answering “yes” to the drug-related question that led to a conviction while receiving financial aid will be implemented this year, along with the removal of men being required to register with the Selective Service System to receive financial aid through FAFSA.

“When I first heard about it, I was shocked. Like what year are we in? But I am happy that they took it out,” said Maleek Munroe, a student at Mercy College.

Up until the 2021-2022 FAFSA form, it was required for males between the ages of 18-25 to register for the draft to receive financial aid assistance. The United States of America does not currently have an open draft; therefore, it would not be possible to be drafted, but it was a requirement. The last group of men drafted was on June 30, 1973, during the Vietnam War.

Federal student loans will also be affected in the 2022-2023 financial year. The Subsidized Usage Limit Applies, or short for SULA, refers to a new regulation to limit the amount of time a student is allowed to receive Direct Subsidized Loans. The continuance limit of the period for which a borrower can receive Subsidized Direct Loans of up to 150 percent of program length will be revoked.

The Federal FAFSA deadline to file for the 2022-2023 school year is June 30, 2023. This year’s FAFSA deadline to file is June 30, 2023. Every college and institution has different deadlines.

Though the date to file for financial aid extends into the following year, it is recommended to complete the form as soon as possible because one may only have the options of loans available. 

“For me it was a bit easier,” stated Kathleen Sicha, a freshman at Mercy College. She spoke about her high school implementing programs for the Latino youth in her community that the application process is easier for her and fellow students.

“Most of us (before we graduated) got accepted to be in the program, which was held after school for an hour, to two hours. Our parents were not always able to come after school, so they did Zoom meetings at night, which also helped,” Sicha said when speaking about her process of filing for financial aid for the 2020-2021 school year.

As the world recovers from the financial disaster the COVID pandemic has left in its wake, students and parents still are required to file for FAFSA with their 2020 tax returns. A student would be able to inform their schools’ financial office of any changes that may have occurred over the year, which changed their income.

The application did not change to help students and families who may have suffered a monetary loss due to the pandemic, but more financial aid relief may be given. Students and their families must provide proof of their financial situation to the school of choice to receive help. They may be required to show additional evidence and prove their situation of economic decline.

According to the Federal Student Aid, as stated in their Beginning Phased Implementation of the FAFSA Simplication Act, it was “too late in the development cycle,” to remove the drug-related questions, the Selective Service System requirement, and the repeal of the SULA requirements on the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.

Over the next upcoming years, the questions and requirements will be removed from the FAFSA form. Short for Federal Student Aid, FSA has provided direction to schools on treating and correctly processing the FAFSA forms to not eliminate certain students from receiving financial assistance.

The premise behind the few changes to be implemented to this year’s form is to make filling out the application a more straightforward process, encouraging more students to file for FAFSA, knowing they can complete and give access to more aid to low-income students.