With a change in administration comes changes in policies. Throughout the year, the US Department of Education has been making significant changes to the financial aid processes that will affect each and every citizen looking to receive financial assistance for their education, and they will go into effect in July of 2011. These changes are said to have the intention of strengthening federal student financial aid at for profit, nonprofit and public institutions. The new implementations will also ensure that students are not being misled by financial aid scams from schools or aggressive companies. They will also ensure that only students who are legitimately eligible will receive financial aid.
There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing to apply for financial aid, whether it be keeping up with the changing requirements or simply knowing the information that has remained at a static point. Here is a list of things to keep in mind when gearing up for your 2010 financial aid plan:
- The earliest you can submit the FAFSA is January 1st! You cannot submit the form before this date due to yearly income tax requirements. However, you should try to send in the FAFSA as close to this date as possible due to financial aid's first come, first served distribution.
- Before you even attempt to fill out the FAFSA, you must obtain a FAFSA PIN, which not only connects your application specifically to you, but also allows you to make any necessary changes after you have sent in your FAFSA and received the results.
- A general requirement for the FAFSA remains that you must have either a high school diploma or pass an ability to benefit test approved by the Department of Education. With the new regulations, however, more qualified students will be able to receive aid easier than before, rewarding them for their academic integrity.
- According to the reports, the altercations will distinctly clarify the minimum action that a state must take to meet the responsibility of protecting students by authorizing post-secondary institutions to distribute federal student aid and participate in other federal financial aid programs, thus protecting students from fraudulent programs with less than accurate advice.
- For the 2010-2011 school year, all FAFSA applications completed through FASFA on the Web must be submitted by midnight on June 30, 2011.
- All corrections made through FAFSA on the Web pertaining to the documents must be made by midnight on September 15, 2011.
- Also, do not forget that your school of choice must have your complete and correct financial information no later than your last day of enrollment in the 2010-2011 school year.
- Take notice that federal student aid considers the FAFSA's receipt date and time to be when the original FAFSA or corrected FAFSA is successfully submitted. Your documents will not be reviewed or accepted you have missed this deadline!
It can be tricky and a tad overwhelming trying to keep all these deadlines straight. Many students and their families hire financial aid consultants to help lay out the process, keeping them on top of all up and coming events. Talking to a financial aid advisor about a financial aid plan can also help you get all of the facts together, helping you become more organized and informed about the process.