Is the New FAFSA App a Game Changer?
FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid is utilized by over 20 million students every year in the hopes they receive grants, loans, or some sort of financial aid to help ease their financial burden of attending a university.
The cost of obtaining a college education increases every year and how much aid students get from FAFSA can often be the deciding factor in what university students can afford to attend. College expenses add up quickly, but FAFSA and its new app could potentially help ease the burden for millions of students.
The new app is being created with the intentions of simplifying the application process and making student loans more attainable to students. As of now, the FAFSA application takes about 30 minutes to complete but still, some deem it is not worth filling out. Many educators and administrators feel it is because of too many unnecessary and irrelevant questions on the free application. The education department also aims to slowly remove in addition to creating this app to make it less confusing and easier to obtain a student loan. The consensus is, if people can do everything from shop to find dates on their mobile phones, they should also be able to apply for student loans as well.
So will the FAFSA app really make a difference?
Let’s look at the facts. On average, only 3 out of 5 high school students will complete the application during the college application process. Statistically, lower-income students are less likely to complete the application meaning they’re missing out on millions in aid. While the mobile app cannot remove all obstacles which prevent completion, experts agree it will be revolutionary in how students can submit FAFSA applications and manage to repay their loans. Some low-income students do not have internet access in their homes, so having the opportunity to complete the application on their mobile devices could start giving them an easier path to receiving college aid.
The app will also feature a tool which will enable students to track what they are spending their aid on, whether it is tuition, housing, food, etc. allowing them to optimize their spending and focus on the areas they need the most financial support. It will also feature a comparison tool enabling students to compare what they budgeted versus what they actually ended up spending which will help create more financially literate college students.
The app will also help students in their college selection because it will connect with the College Scorecard. Every time a student picks a college(s) to send their FAFSA application to, the app will show the Scorecard metrics for each college. Students will also be able to receive expert advice on their options at light speed with live chats on the app. This will help them in deciding which kind of loan is best for them and which will be easiest for them to pay off in the long-run.
Need help managing your student loans? Have some thoughts on the application process? Leave us a comment below!