FAFSA streamlined for 2010-2011

January 12th, 2010

From our good friends at NACAC (hat tip to Alicia Ortega):

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced a new streamlined Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) just in time for students and families to complete the 2010-11 application. Improvements include a much more user-friendly online format and a large reduction in the number of questions asked. A total of 22 questions are eliminated, representing a 28% reduction in questions, and 17 screens are eliminated, a reduction of 65% of web screens.

These updates are in addition to those announced in August 2009. The full list of the most recent improvements can be found in the Simplification Update form from the Department of Education. Here are a few highlights:
• Student and parent sections are clearly identified with side tabs.
• Status indicators guide applicants through web modules, such as demographics, basic eligibility, and dependency status.
• The display of the help text and instructions, which takes up much of the web screen on the 2009-10 form, is enhanced by the use of help text that disappears when you are no longer in a particular section.
• Students with low incomes will no longer be asked for asset information, which is not used to determine their aid eligibility.
• Questions regarding additional financial information and untaxed income are presented in a simplified keyword “check box” format on one page.
Later this month, students applying for aid for the spring semester using the 2009-2010 FAFSA will be able to retrieve and import their tax data from the IRS. In the summer of 2010, students applying for aid in the 2010-11 year will also be able to apply for aid using their tax data. In this process, a link to the IRS will display in the income section of the FAFSA with a message that students may access the IRS site to retrieve income information to complete the application.

Dr. Jill Biden blogged about the new FAFSA on the White House Blog. Be sure to check out the NACAC Admitted Blog post on the FAFSA updates, which also provides links to helpful financial aid information.

2010-11 FAFSA Available
The final version of the 2010-2011 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available in English and Spanish. The PDF documents, among the FAFSA filing options available online, can be downloaded by schools and students to complete for submission. Corresponding FAFSA on the Web Worksheets are also available to assist students and families in completing the FAFSA.

2010-11 FAFSA
2010-11 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet

2010-11 FAFSA
2010-11 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet

PLEASE NOTE: the correct and free FAFSA website is a .GOV site NOT a .com website.

9 responses to “FAFSA streamlined for 2010-2011”

  1. Yvonne Fernandes says:


    My son has been admitted to OSU.. We still have not completed the FAFSA application..we are waiting for our W2, it will be mailed by end Jan 2010 from our companies… can you tell me what is your deadline to complete the FAFSA my son is all stressing out..

    Please reply to my email address noted above..

    Thanks a million


  2. Matt says:

    The FAFSA deadline for OSU is 9pm PST on Feb 28.

  3. Janet Jorgenson says:

    Hi. My son is applying to OSU for fall 2010. I see that the deadline for the FAFSA is Feb. 28. Does that mean that we just have to complete filling it out by then, or that it has to have been sent into the government and processed by them and sent to you by then? Thanks, Janet

  4. Matt says:

    @Janet: You ask a good question. Your FAFSA must be submitted electronically on fafsa.ed.gov by 9pm PST on Feb 28. Be sure to declare OSU as one of the schools to receive your son’s information.

  5. Cole says:

    I have been searching sites like http://finaid.org/ and http://studentloansforcollege.org/ for volunteer ops that help pay for college, the sites are helpful as far as financial aid stuff… but cant seem to find much about vlntr programs to pay for college… does anyone know of any of these? Thanks

  6. clarisonic says:

    I applied for aid this year and it was very easy. You do it all over the internet and it doesn’t take as long as my brother who graduated a few years ago, he had to do it all by hand!

  7. Julie says:

    It would have been so great if they had made these changes 8 years ago when I was a senior and applying for govt. aid.

    My parents actually hired someone to come and help us fill out all the paperwork so I could have the best chance possible to get the most aid.

    It helped a lot but it sure was a hassle and I know that a lot of my friends weren’t so lucky because there was some confusing stuff.

    My nephew is going through the same process and he told me a few weeks ago that it was fairly easy.

  8. LOL – That is a great story. Thanks for posting

  9. James says:

    Are there any other grant programs offered by your institution for students who have low income. I have been loooking for grants beyond what the FAFSA offer but cont fund much info other than whats on http://www.schoolgrantsresource.com

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