The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

Sophie Barker

Delayed aid

FAFSA has made major changes to its application process

This year, there have been some major changes regarding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and how it will affect students filing for the 2024-25 school year.

“The big change is that in Indiana, Senate Bill 167 makes it a mandate that seniors or graduates do the FAFSA,” SHS counselor Patrick Clark said.

Not only is this bill making it so that all seniors have to file FAFSA, but it also impacts the way students and parents are filing. 

The reason why FAFSA is now required is that students eliminate going to college after graduation because they believe that it’s too pricey and that they can’t afford it. Being required to file a FAFSA before graduation shows students how much money it will cover should they decide to go to college.

However, before students can begin filing their FAFSA, they must have a Federal Student Aid ID, also known as an FSA ID, and it takes the government several days to activate the ID for the students.

The big change is that in Indiana, Senate Bill 167 makes it a mandate that seniors or graduates do the FAFSA.

— SHS counselor Patrick Clark

“In the past, they could have started a FAFSA, gotten that FSA ID almost at the same time,” SHS counselor Briana Underwood said.

Another change regarding FAFSA is the questions on the form and how long the students and their guardians take to finish them. 

FAFSA has a smaller number of questions than it used to, and rather than the forms being able to be completed by the student and their guardians simultaneously, one of them must start the form and send it to the other. If they don’t get it completed in 45 days, the entire form gets wiped and a new one must be started.

When FAFSA gives little time to fill out the application for both students and guardians, it can make it tricky. On top of this, FAFSA used to open up the applications in October or November to allow more time for students and guardians to fill it out in order to get aid estimates in March of the following year. This year though, FAFSA didn’t open up until January, and it wasn’t a full launch this time either.

Many students and parents completing their FAFSA during the soft launch had some issues with it. According to the Financial Aid Toolkit, during the soft launch period, the site would initiate pauses for maintenance which would prevent some users wouldn’t be able to work on their FAFSA, but the site would also have some users experience a “waiting room,” feature to help with control website volume and to ensure optimal performance while completing the form.

Along with these, students have been facing some other issues when it comes to working on their FAFSA, both with outside forces and with the FAFSA itself.

Senior Adual Malueth says that the only issue that she has had with FAFSA is finding the time to work on it, however, she is still planning on utilizing it.

“I want to go to college,” Malueth said. “And if I apply for FAFSA and I get grants, I can use that money to not be in debt when I go to college.”

Senior Zing Par says that while she’s been able to make her account, she can’t complete it due to technical issues with FAFSA not letting her dad log into his account.

“Now it’s saying that he never had that account,” Par said. “And then I tried to make an account for him and then it says that he already has an account.”

  Because of these issues and how people have to navigate completing the forms, some people, primarily parents, don’t like the new FAFSA all that much.

Parent and athletic office manager Nicky Givens says that she hates FAFSA, for various reasons, including how she and her son have to have separate accounts. These factors have made her dread needing to fill out the form again in the future. 

“It’s hard to use because your kid has their account, and you have your account,” Givens said. “Both the accounts have to match. I wish that … we would all be on one.”

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About the Contributor
Alyssa Cook
Alyssa Cook, News Reporter, Staff Artist
Hi! My name is Alyssa Cook. I am a sophomore and this is my first year on The Journal staff. I am a News reporter and one of the artists. I am a huge fan of anything horror-related and overall love the horror genre. My favorite horror game series has to be Five Nights at Freddy’s with my favorite game being the fifth installment, also known as Sister Location. My favorite color is royal blue, however, I also like mint green. My favorite animal is a maned wolf, which does lead to my love of dogs, but I also really love cats. I love and enjoy all forms of art such as writing, theater, music, and drawing. I also enjoy math and science and am currently taking AP Pre-Calculus and DC Chemistry. I care a lot about my grades, so I always strive to get A’s and B’s so I can get into a good college. I’m so excited to see what my first year on the Journal will look like!

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