On July 8, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a proposal to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
The Gates Foundation said that two million more young people could get the financial aid they need to afford to go to college if the federal government makes it easier to fill out the financial aid form.
It is required for students to fill out the FAFSA before they receive any type of financial aid from their universities, including scholarships, federal grants and subsidized student loans.
FAFSA requires students to answer multiple financial questions and fill out not only their own tax information, but their parents' as well.
“I think it would really help parents and students if it’s not as much work or if it’s not as confusing,” said Kristen Bango, a sophomore majoring in health science who works in customer service for UCF’s Office of Student Financial Assistance. “I know I get confused a lot with the FAFSA.”
Bango said that until the form is simplified, students can make the application process easier for themselves by turning in their FAFSAs before the priority date, which is March 1. This will help ensure that UCF will be able to provide them with as much money as possible.
She added that simplifying the application might help students meet this deadline.
“If the application was simpler and it was easier to input information, it would encourage them to get it over with faster,” Bango said.
Deanna Ferrante is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future.