September 20, 2007
The Department of Education is encouraging students to complete their FAFSAs online.
Washington, DC—The U.S. Department of Education has a new plan to simplify the distribution of its Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The department recently announced that it will no longer send paper copies of the form to colleges and universities.
In the past, the department has regularly mailed millions of FAFSA forms to schools. However, as of January 2008, schools will not receive paper copies of the form. In hopes of reforming the application system, the Department of Education is now encouraging students to complete the FAFSA online.
For the 2008-2009 academic year, the Department of Education will create a PDF version of the form that students can complete and submit for processing. This will be available for students to download from several federal financial aid websites, such as www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov. After students access the form online, they will be able to complete it on the computer or by hand and then submit it by mail for processing.
According to Higher Education Washington, Inc.'s NewsLine, students may still obtain paper copies of the FAFSA by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at its toll-free number, 800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243). By calling this number, students can request a maximum of three paper copies of the FAFSA, which they should receive in three to seven business days.
While schools will no longer receive paper copies of the FAFSA, they will be able to access the PDF from various websites. They will also have the option to order paper copies of the FOTW Worksheet, which provides instructions to students on how to complete the online FAFSA.
Submitting a FAFSA is the first step students take when applying for any federal financial aid, such as federal loans, grants, work-study, etc. The form provides the federal and state government and colleges with information to determine the student's eligibility for financial aid.
"The government needs to continue to simplify the process of completing a FAFSA and allowing students to apply for financial aid," said EdFed loan counselor Jennifer Munson.
"Our goal at EdFed is to help students realize their dream of earning their college degree-and helping graduates and professionals manage the student loans that can result from obtaining an education," Munson added.
As a leader in the student loan industry, EdFed is dedicated to helping students and graduates realize all of their educational goals and meet their student loan and consolidation needs.