The application process that used to divvy out money for free student loans, college work study programs, subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans, and free Pell grants, will undergo a significant change, according to the United States Department of Education.
The FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a mandatory application for any student who wants to receive free money for college from the federal government. Students at community colleges, public universities, and private colleges all use information from the FAFSA to determine how much federal financial aid students are eligible for.
The Department of Education has announced that the current form, consisting of questions on income, program of study, and other biographical questions, will be simplified beginning in October of 2016. At that time, the FAFSA will be simplified to use information based on tax returns from the previous year, and will auto-populate based on information sent to the IRS.
This change is said to be one that will result in an easier college financial aid process and enhanced financial aid eligibility for college students.