Louisiana became the first state in the nation in 2018 to set FAFSA completion as a high school graduation requirement.
Since then, Illinois and Texas have adopted similar policies and several other states are weighing the option.
Officials from Louisiana recently shared their state’s story during a webinar organized by the Education Commission of the States. During the hour-long presentation, education leaders explained the process Louisiana followed when adopting the new requirement and discussed how counselors can support students as they file for financial aid.
The Department of Education recently announced changes to FAFSA verification aimed to help make the process less burdensome.
In lieu of IRS tax return transcripts and verification of non-filing forms, the guidance allows institutions to accept copies of signed income tax returns and written statements of non-filing from students who are selected for FAFSA verification. The changes are effective immediately and apply to both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 cycles.
In many homes, filling out the FAFSA is a family affair.
Although students are always encouraged to take the lead when it comes to applying to colleges, they are often required to work in conjunction with their parents or guardians to provide information about their family’s income and other factors when seeking financial aid.
With that in mind, the US Department of Education recently published a blog post with tips to help families navigate the FAFSA process.