The turbulence of COVID during 2020 has been enough for all of us, but did COVID make FAFSA easier? Does a pandemic make filing for FAFSA easier? Yes! We are most excited to hear about the simplification of the process itself. According to NerdWallet, "the high school graduating class of 2017 left $2.6 billion in grants on the table by failing to submit enough applications." That's A LOT of money not being used to educate our youth just because of crazy applications! So yes, let's find the small silver linings of 2020 and rejoice that COVID initiated some changes for the better. Jeff Levy, an IEC at Big J Educational Consulting, summed up the biggest changes FAFSA will see.
For a more in-depth look at the information above, check out the following link for more details --> Pandemic Relief Package Simplifies FAFSA
Is it perfect? No. But it is a step in the right direction. Let's take advantage of the changes COVID has made to FAFSA and walk away from 2020 knowing that our future high school grads have options, better yet, opportunities.
** Update - 1/22/2021 **
Another great piece of information was uncovered in the recent FAFSA changes regarding grandparents gifting money to their grandchildren for college. Lynn O'Shaughnessy, a college finance expert, wrote a detailed report in the December issue of Forbes Magazine explaining several of the changes. Here is a quick synopsis explaining the recent FAFSA change for financial gifting from grandparents.
FAFSA change: grandparent giving
Making sure grandparent generosity doesn't impact financial aid has always been tricky. Do it wrong and it can hurt a household's chances for need-based financial aid.
The FAFSA overhaul will make it easy for grandparents or others outside the nuclear family to pay for college costs without jeopardizing aid. The FAFSA overhaul will ignore whether grandparents or other well-wishers have given money to a child to pay for college costs. The FAFSA will no longer ask this question.
When grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends or others outside the immediate family help with college costs currently, this money is treated as the child's untaxed income which is assessed at up to 50% by the FAFSA formula. That is an outrageous penalty to pay.
This FAFSA change will be big deal for many generous grandparents!
Here is the link to the full article and interview: www.thecollegesolution.com/...
The college planning process can be stressful and Discover Pathwaze is happy to see that part of it just got a little easier. Please let us know if you need any assistance navigating the FAFSA. As always, we are here to help!