New Release of the “FAFSA: How-to Guide” Will Help Low-Income and First-Generation Students Access Financial Aid
The New School’s
Updates include a Spanish-language version and new information on
accurately and efficiently accessing
Financial aid is necessary for many prospective and current college students, but the process of securing it can be complex and confusing and millions of students leave money on the table because they don’t complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA: The How-to Guide aims to take the fear out of the application by decoding the process for the two-thirds of college students that receive financial aid. To further help low-income and first generation college students navigate the complicated process, the How-to Guide will be released in Spanish for the first time. The updated guide is available today at www.understandingfafsa.org.
The How-to Guide serves as a resource to support low-income students and their families, and also serves as a training tool for high school guidance counselors and non-profit professionals. Specifically, it aims to take the fear out of financial aid by decoding the application and answering questions that students and families frequently contend with, such as how to:
- Fill out the form accurately so it is processed quickly and can be easily verified by colleges.
- Address issues that are specific to low-income and immigrant students, who often face daunting barriers in filling out the FAFSA.
- Determine how to handle sensitive, personal financial information.
- Navigate timely details about taxes if parents plan to file their tax forms in April, after FAFSA’s required submission in January or February.
To announce the release of the new version of FAFSA: The How-to Guide,
“The FAFSA form is complex, and as new rules and regulations have been developed the form has become more complicated to navigate,” said Dr. Scott-Clayton. “Within the higher education community, we know that there is a need to simplify the application process as this complexity is a barrier to receiving aid. The FAFSA How-to Guide is a resource that provides parents and students exactly what they need – guidance and clarity through a complicated process.”
“College success is a core area of focus because we know that obtaining
a college degree has a strong correlation with economic opportunity and
can increase one's earning potential by up to
“The FAFSA form and financial aid process can be intimidating and confusing for all kinds of students and families. But it is particularly daunting for low-income students or those who are the first in their family to go to college. The FAFSA questions can be confusing and the financial process is complicated,” said Nauer. “The FAFSA How-to Guide answers students’ most common questions and is designed to be friendly and easy to read. It is also a great resource for guidance counselors and others who help students through the college application process.”
The updated FAFSA How-to Guide is now available for high school students, families and guidance counselors throughout the country in print and online at www.understandingfafsa.org. The guide is available in English and Spanish.
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