Many students appear to be accepting the federal government’s invitation to file their financial-aid applications three months earlier than usual, a survey released this month suggests.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid was available on Oct. 1 this year, and college officials report that, on average, after the first month, they already had received 32 percent of the total FAFSA filings they received for the whole of last year’s incoming class. The information stems from a national survey of 171 enrollment managers at public and private four-year colleges and universities by Royall and Co., a division of the EAB, a research and technology company.
The U.S. Department of Education rule changes that permitted the earlier application and let families submit “prior-prior year” tax information (from 2015) were aimed at streamlining the process of awarding grants and loans.
A version of this article appeared in the December 14, 2016 edition of Education Week as Financial Aid