In recent years, the U.S. Department of Education has simplified and streamlined the process. Nearly all applicants now complete the form online instead of filing out by hand a lengthy paper application. A feature that tailors questions to each applicant has reduced time. A tool used to retrieve Internal Revenue Service tax information online, rather than manually inputting the information, has shortened completion times as well.
The changes have led to a 50% increase in the number of students who completed the application over the last four years, Duncan said.
The form can usually be completed in about one hour.
The FAFSA “is required to tap the $150 billion in grants, loans and work-study funds doled out each year by the federal government, as well as other state and private funds”.
A reminder to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after it becomes available on January 1:
“You do not want to wait until the last minute with financial aid — because when it’s gone, it’s gone,” she warned.