Revamped FAFSA Form Garners Over a Million Applications, Promises Greater Accessibility to Higher Education Funding

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Education (Department) has announced that its redesigned Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form for 2024-25 has already been used by over one million students. The form, now available round-the-clock, is designed to streamline the process of applying for federal financial aid for college.

U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, expressed his enthusiasm about the response to the new application, dubbed the “Better FAFSA.” Cardona said, “The fact that over a million students were able to complete the Better FAFSA during its brief soft launch period underscores our commitment to making applying for college financial aid simpler and easier than ever before.”

The updated form is part of a broader push to modernize the federal financial aid application process and make higher education more accessible. With the Better FAFSA now live 24/7, an estimated 610,000 additional students from low-income families are expected to be eligible for Pell Grants for the first time.

The Department launched the new FAFSA form in a soft launch on December 30, 2023, periodically making the form available while monitoring website performance and form functionality. This phased approach allowed for pauses for site maintenance and technical updates, ensuring optimal user experience. Now, except for routine maintenance, the revamped form will be continually accessible to students and their families.

Federal Student Aid Chief Richard Cordray noted that feedback from students and families indicates that the new FAFSA form offers a better, more user-friendly experience. “We recognize how important it is for students and families to get the information they need on to plan for the upcoming school year,” Cordray said.

The implications of this development are potentially game-changing. By simplifying the application process, the Department of Education is making strides in reducing barriers to higher education funding. This could encourage more students, particularly those from low-income families, to pursue a college education.

However, the effectiveness of the redesigned FAFSA form will depend on its ongoing implementation and user feedback. As the Department continues to refine and improve the process, it will need to remain responsive to the needs and concerns of students and their families.

As the Better FAFSA continues to roll out, the Department of Education, students, families, and educational institutions alike will be watching closely to see how this new tool impacts access to federal financial aid and, ultimately, access to higher education itself.

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