Prepare for the new FAFSA: Tips from the BBCC Financial Aid Office

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Prepare for the new FAFSA: Tips from the BBCC Financial Aid Office

MOSES LAKE — The Big Bend Community College Financial Aid office wants to help prepare you for the upcoming launch of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

The U.S. Department of Education introduced the FAFSA Simplification Act, which aims to streamline the financial aid application process for students and their families. One of the outcomes was a redesigned FAFSA form, which will be available by Dec. 31, 2023 for the 2024-25 academic year.

The new FAFSA form will expand eligibility for federal student aid. More than 600,000 new students from low-income backgrounds will be eligible due to updates to student aid calculations, according to the Department of Education.

The new form also offers a better user experience for students and their families. Applicants will be able to skip as many as 26 FAFSA questions, depending on their individual circumstances. Some applicants will need to complete as few as 18 questions, taking less than 10 minutes.

Another change starting with the 2024-25 FAFSA is that federal tax information will automatically be transferred from the IRS.

While the new FAFSA process looks different, some things haven’t changed— such as the types of aid available, any priority due dates, and the amount of care and support from Big Bend Financial Aid staff.

“The Financial Aid Office is here to help! We’ll be holding financial aid workshops on campus as well as being available for one-on-one appointments starting the second week of January,” said BBCC Financial Aid Director Casey Fry. “Be on the lookout for our workshop calendar, which will be posted on the Financial Aid webpage and reach out if you need assistance.”

Here are some tips from the BBCC Financial Aid office to help you navigate the updated process:

  • Create a FSA ID now. The Federal Student Aid I.D. (FSA ID) account you will need to create to apply for FAFSA will take three days to process before you can start your FAFSA application. This also applies to any other contributors on your FAFSA as well, such as your parents and/or guardians, so be sure to plan accordingly.
  • Mark your calendars for December 31, 2023 and watch for the 2024-25 FAFSA release.
  • Stay Informed. If you filled out a FAFSA form for 2023-24, you will be emailed updates from the Department of Education reminding you to apply for 2024-25. You can also follow Federal Student Aid on Instagram or Facebook for resources and announcements.

Visit the BBCC Financial Aid website for more information about the new FAFSA form, application process changes and answers to some frequently asked questions.

Note: The Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) for 2024-25 is also delayed, and is expected to be available late December 2023. Students can create a WASFA account if they do not already have one:

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