Local News

New FAFSA To Be Released For College Financial Aid

BEND, OR -- It’s time for college students to gather documents and be ready to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for next fall. But this year’s FAFSA is a little delayed because of changes, "The Department of Ed has told us that that application will be available by December 31st," says Central Oregon Community College Director of Financial Aid Brianna Sylwester, "So, I would make it your New Year’s resolution to get online at StudentAid.gov the first week or two of January and get that FAFSA completed."

She tells KBND News, "They’re actually making some pretty significant improvements to the FAFSA application this year. And so that is causing a little bit of a delay, but we’re very hopeful and excited to see this overhaul that we’ve needed for a little while. So hopefully, as families and students, you’re going to see a much easier, streamlined, more user-friendly application." 

Sylwester says the new form shouldn’t be as arduous as it used to be, "More simplified, fewer questions, more mobile friendly; so it’s going to be a little easier to complete." It’ll also link directly to the family’s tax information from the IRS - if you grant permission. "There’s a lot of intimidation around the FAFSA application, and it really isn’t as bad as people sometimes have thought in their minds, and also as it used to be. It has gotten a lot easier."

But it’s still important to allot appropriate time to fill it out, "The worst thing is to sit down and think you’re going to have the application completed in five minutes. The Department of Education has said to allow yourself about an hour."

In January, both COCC and OSU Cascades plan to host events for students needing application help. Click HERE for COCC's schedule.


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