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News: How Changes to FAFSA Could Impact Your Aid Eligibility

The FAFSA went through big changes for the 2022 to 2023 school year. Find out how it may impact you here.

Justin Cupler

Contributing Writer at Tally

October 15, 2021

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on October 1, giving prospective students access to a share of $150 billion in federal student aid. The aid includes grants, scholarships and loans. 

The FAFSA has experienced numerous changes in the past year, making it easier for students to complete the form and easing some of the restrictions so more students qualify for aid. 

So, what has changed, and who is now eligible for student aid? We’ll cover that and more below. 

Updated look and user experience

While it may not seem like one of the most important FAFSA changes, students will appreciate its new look. In previous years, the FAFSA was a rather dry-looking document. The 2022 to 2023 FAFSA, however, will look and feel more like the modernized site. 

This will have no impact on student aid approval, but it may feel less intimidating and more user-friendly.

Users will also be able to select their role before entering the document. The role options are:

  • Student

  • Parent

  • Preparer 

Lastly, the FAFSA will be shorter, further reducing the intimidation factor. The previous FAFSA was 108 questions, but the new one is trimmed to just 36 required questions.

Auto-importing data

A significant change in the 2022 to 2023 FAFSA form is that you no longer manually enter income information. Instead, automatically import the information via the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). 

Drug convictions no longer disqualify 

In past years, the FAFSA asked about drug convictions, and if you had one while receiving student aid, you’d never receive aid again. While that question is still on the FAFSA, it will no longer automatically disqualify a student from receiving aid. 

This question only remains because the Federal Student Aid office didn’t have enough time to remove it before the new FAFSA went out. 

Selective Service System registration is no longer needed

In past years, the FAFSA required you to register for the Selective Service System — where all males ages 18 to 25 must register for Selective Services. The military system chooses people at random for enlistment in the armed services in times of severe need. 

While it’s still a legal requirement to register, those who aren’t registered will no longer be ineligible for student aid. 

Apply for a piece of the $150 billion in aid

With the FAFSA more streamlined than ever, now’s the time to get your piece of the $150 billion the U.S. government earmarked to help students afford college. Whether you’re seeking a Pell Grant, a federal student loan or a scholarship, this is your first step to getting the help you need to afford a college education. 

The deadline to submit your FAFSA form is 11:59 p.m. Central Time on June 30, 2023. If you make a mistake on your 2022 to 2023 FAFSA, you have until September 10, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time to correct it.