The latest changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from the federal government take effect on October 1, 2016. But don’t wait until October to prepare. These changes have immediate, far-reaching implications for financial aid offices and for campus offices of student recruitment, marketing, and retention.
I know some campuses are preparing now in earnest. To gauge how campuses are planning to respond to the new rules, we recently conducted a poll that produced these findings:
As shown above, the majority of undergraduate officials indicate they will be adjusting their communication flows and providing earlier estimates of financial aid in response to the federal government’s new FAFSA rules which allow use of Prior-Prior Year (PPY) income information. In addition, many are working to set tuition earlier and some will be admitting students earlier.
Two-year community and technical colleges
Two-year public colleges are also preparing for the changes. Parallel findings for this sector showed the following:
Although fewer two-year campuses had made plans, these data show a variety of initiatives are under way to prepare for the coming changes.